3 Goal Setting Systems That Get Results

Setting goals for yourself and your organization should be a top priority especially during challenging economic times or when executing large multifaceted projects. Goals provide the daily operational focus to achieve the long-term vision. Without a daily focus, the large overreaching goal of a vision can often seem unattainable. There are multiple goal setting systems and frameworks, yet finding the right mix can sometimes be difficult. This article identifies 3 major goal frameworks and provides some advice on how to use each one.


In goal-setting science these are the top of the food chain. Dangerously Unattainable, Monstrously Big goals (DUMB), Big Hairy Audacious Goals (BHAG) or STRETCH goals. These provide top tier goals that push you to dream big and reach for the stars. Through multiple studies these have been proven to provide the best motivation for business people and employees to reach beyond their comfort level and actually attain large performance increases while striving to attain such goals. However the dangers of this type of goal system is the demoralizing aspect of never being able to reach a top-tier goal. This could be through individual inability, unavailable resources or other unavoidable factors which prevent a lofty goal from being reached.

HARD Goals

One step down from top-tier goal frameworks include the recently developed HARD goal system. This framework was founded by Mark Murphy and provides an emotional attachment for difficult to achieve goals. The system makes goals more attainable because of a personal connection with the intended goal. This is currently the popular goal framework in use by top corporations and espoused by business consultants. It provides difficult goals that are just out of reach and may still require you to learn new skills, however the goals are still within your capabilities.

So the HARD goal system is a framework for enhanced talent development with a tangible goal achievement result. By ensuring the goals have a personal and heartfelt connection with each individual; this framework can ensure you buy-in to your goals. This framework often requires more time to develop yet can be highly effective to motivate and progress the overall goals of you or your organisation.


This well used goal system provides manageable and attainable goals that ensure a personal boost, buy-in and connection with your goals. The true issue with this framework is that it does not push boundaries but it also does not attempt to establish an emotional connection with the goals and therefore it has a perceived lower overall success rate.

Hybrid Frameworks

In order to develop a goal framework that can meet you or your organisations, a hybrid system may be necessary. The hybrid framework can essentially assign daily or weekly goals through the SMART framework, quarterly or annual goals using the HARD framework and a career objective using some form of stretch goal framework. By providing a three-tier goal system for you or your workplace with a means of evaluation and review, the best of all three systems can be derived.

3 Goal Setting Systems That Get Results

Goals are meant to motivate employees and establish baseline and future performance objectives to meet current and future corporate goals. Depending on your industry and organization one or all of these frameworks may be necessary to adequately meet your managerial goals.

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