Over the years much has been written on the subject of goal setting with most conventional wisdom coming down in favour of the SMART objective setting process.
SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, Timebound) has been around since the 1960’s and is used by organisations to create effective objectives for themselves and their staff. In fact the SMART objective setting process is taught on many management training programs as the right way to set objectives in any situation.
There is, however, a slight failing with the whole idea around SMART objectives which is, to be fair, not a problem with the process but the wider context in which goals are set. All too often organisations set objectives for their staff only to find that in the final analysis that very few have been achieved or even attempted.
So, what is the problem with this approach to objectives, and why do they so often fail to capture the imagination of employees? The SMART model is missing two very important elements that will nearly always sabotage the take up of any objectives.
Often when organisations impose objectives on their staff the initial question...