The world record in high jump since 1993 is 2.45 m. The gold medal in high jump at the last Olympics in London got Iwan Uchow for 2.38 m. Goals are constantly in motion. The best of the best are constantly determined on different levels. The winners simply jump higher than the competition. In everyday business the goals also have to be adapted to the circumstances. Only achievable goals are pursued.
The intentions are always more or less challenging. It is always valid that as soon as they are fixed, they constitute the framework for everybody. The one, who sets the targets, expect that the tasks are mastered and that the area gets the appropriate advantages. The others, who have the appropriate capabilities, exert in such a way that they fulfill tasks in the expected quality with as little expenditure as possible. Naturally, initiators have larger expectations, than the providers can deliver. And the performers have a smaller drive than those, who pursue general goals. How can you find the height of the bar for any goal?
- One could leave it to the orderer, on which height the goal has to be set up. They know what they want to accomplish and what is required. Thus, the goal would fit the interests of the enterprise, but the feasibility would be questionable.
- One could leave the height of the bar to the fulfillers. They know best their abilities. Thus, their goal would be probably feasible, but the intended effect would be uncertain.
- The performers and the client could negotiate. Then the bar would be not unrealistically high, not uselessly low and ideally beneficial for both parties.
In reality it becomes difficult, since these negotiations are affected by aspects that have nothing to do with the actual goals.
- The clients pursue further interests apart from the goals that are negotiated. They must, for example, guarantee the viability of the enterprise and its future. For this purpose deliverables have to be done that guarantee the incomes for covering the current expenses and the development of the offerings. Not to forget their own remuneration. This leads quickly to excessive expectations and objectives.
- Even the performers have an additional agenda. They want to keep the balance between work and life. The family, friends and personal interests require time and attention, which thereby lack for the work. This only works, if they optimize their performance in such a way that the own contractual liabilities are not over-fulfilled. This leads quickly to a more modest personal dedication, than the abilities would allow.
The golden mean is the negotiation of the performance agreement on level playing field. The clients can explain their point of view as well as inspire and convince the employees with appropriate prospects. At the same time the performers can address their doubts and adjust the exaggerated requirements. Both parties have the opportunity to better understand the other and to adjust their own claims. The results are realistic client expectations and the genuine employee commitment through their work-life balance.
In order to obtain results effectively, both parties must say farewell to old behaviors. It requires on the one side executives, who have business gut feeling, clear goals and responsibility for the well-being of the employees. But on the other side are employees needed, who understand that their achievements represent the basis for the monthly salary flow and require entrepreneurship, who do not sit-out their work time but dedicate their attention committedly to the enterprise. As soon as one of the two sides loses the well-being of the enterprise out of their sight, the danger exists that the ship sinks, in which everybody is sitting.
Bottom line: The right height of the bar should not be too high or too low, since in both cases evolve disadvantages for the enterprise. The two parties rarely have the overview. Therefore it is indispensable to negotiate the height of the bar. That way, it is guaranteed that the desired outcomes take place. Pre-requisites are reasonable, committed executives and employees, who trust each other. You should never forget that only achievable goals are pursued.