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The Trouble With Targets Is Having A TargetWhether the demand is for capping the rise in Earth’s temperatures, creating therapies to halt memory loss in the elderly or expanding farm output to meet the world’s growing population, the answer is the same: Set targets. The urge to target is varied and insistent — and contradicts the widespread view that technologies and their underlying physics and mathematics determine outcomes, not people. IEEE Spectrum Feb 2016, G. Pascal Zachary.

Targets are a crutch, but a helpful crutch to get people moving in the right direction. However, we always have to keep in mind the foundational reasons for what we are doing. It is this understanding and not the targets of the moment that will drive us to real long term success. It is with this foundational understanding that people will make the day to day decisions using all their cognitive and evaluative and intuitive capabilities to pick the right things to do at the right moments.

Targets aim us in the desired direction. The underlying physics and mathematics define what we’ll get if we do it right. But only people are the active elements that brings them all together and makes success possible.

Do you and your team understand the underlying principles that your project targets are trying to achieve?

Thank you for sharing!