Many successful organisations set goals then go about achieving or, better still, exceeding them. Good examples abound such as Briscoes and Rebel Sport who publish their business plan targets then regularly exceed them by encouraging staff and communicating the value proposition to customers and shareholders, then lift the next year's targets, generally showing what a good leader Rod Duke is. The critical part of this is that the targets have to be meaningful and achievable.
The best way to disincentivise both staff and customers plus the general public is to set clearly unrealistic targets that all parties immediately ignore in search of excuses for failure. The lessons of Joseph Stalin's grand five-year Russian production targets and their consequent failure have not been learned in at least two very prominent and influential cases back here.
I was in a group addressed recently by the chairman and CEO of the Blues who announced to the astonished and snickering group that the Blues' goal was to become the best sports club on earth. This from a team launguishing at the bottom of Super Rugby! A much more fitting goal would have been to get in next year's semifinals and the following finals. A push indeed but quite possibly achievable. Why this matters is that the Blues represent our major sporting code in our biggest city where there is competition for young people from rugby league, soccer and, most of all, from inactivity and fast food. The Blues' recipe to achieve their ludicrous goal is to change nobody and retain the existing management team when the big four Cs - being Chairman, CEO, Coach and Captain - all need to go.
The other even more bizarre and frankly dangerous example of a completely unattainable goal came from the Deputy Minister of Transport, one Julie Anne Genter, who announced that the steadily increasing road toll will be fixed by the goal of Zero Road deaths!
Immediately this disempowers every traffic cop who will now be wanting excuses for any deaths on their watch and sensible road prevention groups will toss in the towel. If she really believed in such an unachievable goal where was the announcement that all cars will be immediately fitted with governors limiting their maximum speed to 100km/h. That would go well with sellers of Porsche, Lambourgini, Aston Martin etc who now legally sell cars boasting top speeds several times the limit.
What is needed is a revised road toll goal of "regular annual reduction in the number of road deaths". Given the recent drift upwards this will be a stiff challenge but one that is achievable. Dumping the current NZTA crew and bringing back the sort of careful thinking that the old LTSA had a few years back would be a good start.
So what is needed with these two? Well, the NZRU needs to mount a coup at the Blues and install a top team of coaches etc to get the Blues back on track and help achieve the very important goal of getting more young Aucklanders off the couch and onto the footy field.
With the road toll Jacinda and Winston need to settle Ms Genter into achieving notable improvements. She needs a bit of credibility given her recent loss of the very modest goal of getting to No 2 in the small field of Green MPs.