Goal Setting


Applying the purpose, principles, product model we introduced earlier, your shared vision is purpose and Goal setting is where begin to sharpen your view of principles and product.

Why do I need to set goals?

Terry Pratchett once wrote: “Chaos is found in greatest abundance wherever order is being sought. It always defeats order, because it is better organized.”

An empowered, autonomous, collaborative team left to it’s own devices will eventually produce something valuable.

An organized, empowered, autonomous, collaborative team left to it’s own devices will rapidly produce exactly what you asked for, and maybe more.

Goals help to organize the chaos, aligning expectations with leaders & efforts with peers, and encouraging focus where it’s needed.


You are no doubt aware of some of the common “standard” approaches to goal setting. They are usually a mnemonic that is some variation or combination of the below.

  • S.M.A.R.T.
    • Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, Timely

S.M.A.R.T. Goals have become the de-facto standard used by organizations globally.

There are also some slightly less well known, but widely used approaches:

  • S.H.A.R.P. (often applied in addition to S.M.A.R.T.)
    • Simple, How, Action, Review, Progress
  • P.U.R.E.
    • Positive, Understood, Relevant, Ethical
  • C.L.E.A.R.
    • Challenging, Legal, Environmentally sound, Agreed, Recorded
    • Collaborative, Limited, Emotional, Appreciable, Refinable

And then there are some alternative approaches:

  • Stretch goals
    • Goals that are deliberately challenging to the point of being unachievable
  • OKRs
    • Objectives & Key Results
    • Deliberately challenging and able to be partially achieved

Each of these methods have something in common. They help you to bring order to chaos.

insights & further reading

Multiple studies have shown Goal setting positively impacts performance.1

A recent study showed that 76% of participants who recorded goals and provided progress updates successfully achieved their goals, compared to only 43% in those who did not.2


In order to drive responsiveness goals need be rooted in purpose, encourage collaboration, and be mutable. To help you bring that order to the chaos goals need to be measurable. To inspire innovation goals need to be challenging.

Adopt two distinct approaches to goal setting.

  • C.R.A.P. Goals (our new responsive approach)
    • Collaborative, Refinable, Appreciable, Purpose-driven
  • Stretch Goals

Use C.R.A.P. goals for the bulk of your goals, and set one or two very challenging Stretch goals across your entire team.

Our methods & tools section includes everything you need to adopt C.R.A.P. and Stretch goals, including a presentation to introduce the concepts and examples.

methods & tools

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