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Drifting Goals


Defines the behavior that occurs when there is a gap between the current state and the desired state.

Description of Behavioural Traits


In a "Drifting Goals" situation, a gap between desired performance and current reality can be resolved either by taking corrective action to achieve the goal or by lowering the goal. The gap is often resolved by a gradual lowering of the goal. Over time, the performance level also drifts downward. This drift may happen so gradually, even without deliberate action, that the organisation is not even aware of the impact.


Drifting performance figures are usually indicators that the "Drifting Goals" archetype is at work and that real corrective actions are not being taken

A critical aspect of avoiding a potential "Drifting Goals" scenario is to determine what drives the setting of goals

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