I’m a big fan of Whitney Johnson and regularly attend her LinkedIn Lives. Last week she talked about travelling again for business. And how it was almost like learning a new task all over again. Everything has become unfamiliar again during the pandemic. And the pandemic introduced changes too!
Arriving at her destination she realized she forgot her charger for her Apple watch. She was aiming for 100 days of moving a certain amount each day. And now she couldn’t measure the target. And she was at 90 days of tracking. So frustrating to have to begin again when she got home.
I said to her: Change the goal! Celebrate the 90 days.
It reminded me of the power of setting targets as a range rather than as an absolute. We can celebrate almost getting there in those situations when things get in the way that are beyond our control. And we can also outdo the target by not stopping when we reach it.
At one point in my career, I was on a billable services team where we had incentive bonuses baked into our employment contract. It was a percentage of salary bonus for the team achieving a quarterly $$$ quota within a % margin. With the target based on current business goals.
The extra sauce was that it was set so that we could receive between 80% to 120% of the bonus by achieving in a range above and below the target. Making the target really a range, rather than a fixed point.
In some ways, this is similar to the idea behind running through first base in baseball. We allow for momentum to continue even when the target is within range. We don’t slow up just because we are getting there.
It also recognizes that sometimes you can get close to a goal and be stopped by things beyond your control. Nothing deflates team morale more than unachievable targets.
Remembering made me think of applying this to marketing performance targets. We can use ranges when we set objectives around achieving targets for Leads, Revenue, Customer Lifetime Value. Even Customer Satisfaction.
These don’t have to be a pass or fail.
Setting a range removes some of the frustration and pressure that comes from striving to hit an absolute target. And can allow for creativity in finding ways to achieve them.