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World Cup has no monopoly on goals – setting performance goals for lawyers

I got a kick out of these two points about goals. A manager can set two kinds of goals for an employee. One kind, the most common, sets a performance outcome. For example, “You should submit applications for 15 patents this year.” Less well-known is a second kind, a high-learning goal. “You should understand the major drivers of why claims turning to litigation.” Performance outcome coals can sometimes make people so anxious to succeed that they lose some effectiveness.

A second idea about goals is that it is possible to set multiple gold levels with multiple bonus levels. “For every sub-lease you complete, your bonus eligibility will increase two percent.” A tiered objective helps avoid the problems of a binary you-get-it-or-not approach.

Net net, my goal on this blog is both performance and learning (See my post of April 8, 2005: SMART objectives; Feb. 23, 2006: SMART goals; March 15, 2006: combination of competencies and goals; Feb. 24, 2007: does a bonus elicit goal achievement; Nov. 27, 2007: comp increases for added productivity; March 2, 2008: to set targets is not as effective as to promote behaviors; Jan. 22, 2009: goal at Ernst & Young’s law department to respond to all calls or messages within two hours; Feb. 23, 2009: BHAGS (big, hairy audacious goals); and Sept. 27, 2009: from corporate goals down to individual lawyer objectives.).

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