Don't Overstretch your Strategy

Stretch Goals
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Bernhard Keim
Business Consultant, Germany
Often stretch goals are abused to push people for unrealistic goals. In that case employees see stretch goals as a threat, not a challenge they feel confident about. Likewise, in strategy analysis, a good strategy is a strategy that not only fits a company's wishes, but its (cap-)abilities as well. If your strategy is too ambitious and is asking for the "big stretch" especially to make fast-turnaround happen, it may not work. Sitkin e.a. dedicated an article in HBR (January 2017) to the problems stretch goals might cause in strategy. Companies that try - and fail - are usually in trouble already. Whereas the companies that could benefit from pushing themselves - those with strong recent performance records and resources to spare - start to be complacent and therefore avoid stretch goals. Success has made them risk-averse. A stretch goal is very hard to reach for a company that is already in trouble, because it means not only working harder, but differently. And it needs resources (...) Read more? Sign up for free


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