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Top Teams and Goal Setting

The main task of a top team consists of the strategic management of the business. It must solve the fundamental and most risky task for the organisation: “Is that, which we do, the right thing?”. The performance, which must be accomplished, is to set goals for the organisation, so that the top team itself, as well as the entire organisation, believes in its achievability and success.

Handling this risk involves several special dangers:

• There is a tendency to move towards operational excellence: Cost cutting programmes and projects to improve efficiency then often dominate the activities, frequently they are sector-related and not comprehensive. This reduces stress and creates ‘successes’.
• In the absence of a shared content objective, there is the threat of a push towards centralisation of the processes. This leads to an overburdening of the team with decision-making requirements and operational hecticness.
• Where there are fundamental changes to organisational goals (e.g. giving up of business fields, products, locations etc.), personal dependencies are quickly created in top teams, which triggers stress. It is not easy to live with risk for one’s own position, for long-established employees or products with which one is highly identified.
• Symptomatic solutions are sought, which do not tackle the root of the problem.

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