Study Published in INFORMS Journal Reveals Detriment of Stretch Goals

Institute for Operations Research & Management Sciences pic

Institute for Operations Research & Management Sciences

Dallas-based business consultant Anthony “Tony” Hartman possesses more than 20 years of experience in the field. Over the course of his career, Anthony Hartman of Dallas has become familiar with a range of business practices, and he has been a repeated lecturer and presenter at such professional events and organizations as the Institute for Operations Research & Management Sciences (INFORMS).

Recently, INFORMS, the leading international association for the operations research and analytics industry, published the results of a study entitled Stretch Goals and the Distribution of Organizational Performance. This study was conducted by researchers at the University of New South Wales Business School and the Sloan School of Management at MIT, among others, and was published in INFORMS’s journal Organization Science.

Participants in the study were assigned moderate or stretch goals relating to the management of the computer-based business simulation program People Express. Roughly 80 percent of the individuals who were assigned stretch goals failed to meet these goals. Performance among these individuals was not significantly higher than among the individuals who were assigned moderate goals. Further, many of the individuals in the stretch goals group either abandoned their assigned stretch goals to adopt more reasonable self-set goals or worked toward a survival goal to avoid bankruptcy.

In addition to these results, the study found that assigning stretch goals was associated with larger performance shortfalls, lower risk-adjusted performance, reduced commitment to assigned goals, and larger performance variation between organizations.

Based on the study, researchers believe that most organizations do not benefit from setting stretch goals for managers. Large companies with a higher risk tolerance may still prefer setting these types of goals because they are more capable of handling the potential drop in performance. Meanwhile, family-owned and medium-sized businesses may struggle with the fallout and are better suited for moderate goals.


Strategies for Raising Self-Reliant Children

Self-Reliant Children pic

Self-Reliant Children

For the past two decades, Anthony “Tony” Hartman, a former US Air Force captain, has provided risk analysis and business consulting services as a self-employed business consultant in Dallas, Texas. When he’s not busy with work, Anthony Hartman of Dallas takes an interest in the art of raising children.

Every parent should aspire to raise a child who is independent and self-reliant. However, it may not always be clear how to accomplish this. Below are a few strategies parents can employ to foster self-reliance in their children:

Provide choices. By providing choices, parents teach their children about making decisions and understanding that each choice they make impacts their life in some way. It is best to begin offering choices in a small way by having children choose between just two items, such as two toys or two shirts. As kids grow older, these choices can become more numerous and complicated.

Practice negotiation. Older kids often fight against the rules established by their parents because they are looking for more freedom. To compromise, parents should include their kids in rule-planning sessions. This gives older kids the chance to negotiate the different regulations affecting them and teaches them about compromise.

Offer guidance. Protecting their children from frustration and disappointment is a basic instinct for many parents. Unfortunately, constantly behaving in this way prevents kids from developing the skills they need to be self-reliant. By providing guidance instead of doing things for a child, parents promote resourcefulness and independence.