EXPONENTIAL TALENT PODCAST
Hosted by Dr. Shreya Sarkar-Barney
Goal setting: Myths and Truths
Dr. Gary Latham
Google ‘goal setting’ and you get close to 500 million search results. It’s a popular business practice with many points of view, and some management gurus touting its inefficacy. What should leaders do – abandon setting goals and resort to “do your best”? This is the question we asked Dr. Gary Latham, the world’s foremost expert on the topic of goal setting. In this podcast, he shares the scientific-evidence on three types of goals: “do your best,” “specific and challenging,” and “primed” goals. Dr. Latham elaborates on the conditions that make goal setting work and what not to do. A must listen for managers who set goals.
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About Our Goal Setting Episode
In recent years, there has been a growing number of articles in the popular media on how goal setting does not work? What is your response to these claims?
When does Goal setting work and when does it not? What conditions need to exist for goals setting to work?
What do you have to say to leaders who believe “do your best” is better than having specific, measurable goals?
Why does goal setting work?
Your newer research on primed goals is showing great promise in influencing higher performance. What is the difference between a “do our best” goal, a specific and self-set goal, and a primed goal?
What is the best example you have seen of goal setting practices in the business world?
Is there a difference between knowledge of results and feedback? As an employee, is it better for me to get feedback from my manager or knowledge of results, or participate in “check-ins”?
Leadership guru, Marcus Buckingham claims that there is no relationship between goals, feedback, and performance. What is your response to this claim?
The practice of cascading goals from the organization level to teams and individuals is controversial. What does the research say about cascading goals from the unit level down to each employee? Does this practice work?
Google ‘goal setting’ and you will get close to 500 million search results. A popular business practice with many points of view, and in recent months there has been a real back lash against goal setting practices. Many well known management gurus have written books and gone on media claiming that goal setting does not work. So what should a leader do – abandon setting goals and resort to no goals at all? Tell your employees “just do your best”? These are the question we asked Dr. Gary Latham, the world’s foremost expert on the topic of goal setting. In this podcast, he shares the scientific evidence on three types of goals: “do your best,” “specific and challenging,” and “primed” goals. Only one of these is backed by substantial evidence, and another bears great promise but requires additional research. Evidently, using the wrong kind could set you back. Dr. Latham goes on to elaborate on the specific conditions that must exist to make goal setting work well for you. Be sure to listen to the entire length of this podcast, you will be rewarded well.
Meet the Speaker From Our Podcast on Goal Setting Episode
Dr. Gary Latham has over 200 research publications and several books on the topic of goal setting. He is currently the Secretary of State Professor of Organizational Effectiveness at the Rotman School of Management, University of Toronto. In a prior career, he served as the staff psychologist at two organizations, Weyerhaeuser and the American Pulpwood Association. He is a Fellow of the American Psychological Association, Association for Psychological Science, Academy of Management, CPA, National Academy of Human Resources, SIOP, and the Royal Society of Canada. He is the only recipient of both awards: Distinguished Contributions to Science and to Practice from SIOP.
References and links
Latham, G. P. (2018). Becoming the evidence-based manager: How to put the science of management to work for you. Hachette UK.
Ganegoda, D. B., Latham, G. P., & Folger, R. (2016). The effect of a consciously set and a primed goal on fair behavior. Human Resource Management, 55(5), 789-807.
Shantz, A., & Latham, G. (2011). The effect of primed goals on employee performance: Implications for human resource management. Human Resource Management, 50(2), 289-299.
Latham, G. P., & Locke, E. A. (2006). Enhancing the benefits and overcoming the pitfalls of goal setting. Organizational dynamics, 35(4), 332-340.
Locke, E. A., & Latham, G. P. (2006). New directions in goal-setting theory. Current directions in psychological science, 15(5), 265-268.
Latham, G. P., & Pinder, C. C. (2005). Work motivation theory and research at the dawn of the twenty-first century. Annual Review of Psychol., 56, 485-516.
Locke, E. A., & Latham, G. P. (2002). Building a practically useful theory of goal setting and task motivation: A 35-year odyssey. American psychologist, 57(9), 705.