Goals, Shmoals

Only slackers don't set goals, right? Not so fast. There may be a downside to setting goals for everything. Spotted this in the Boston Globe "Ideas" section over the weekend:

Narrow corporate goals can keep employees from asking important questions that they otherwise might. Take the notoriously combustible Ford Pinto. In the late 1960s, Ford CEO Lee Iacocca, determined to take back the market share the company was losing to smaller imports, announced a crash program to create a new car that would be under 2,000 pounds, under $2,000, and would go on sale in 1970. Desperate to meet the conditions and the deadline, company executives ignored and then played down questions about the safety of the car's design. As a result, the Pinto, with a fuel tank just behind the rear axle, was uniquely prone to igniting upon impact, and 53 people died in such fires.

Setting goals ever backfire on you?

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