One of the liveliest discussions I was involved in this week was about setting goals such as ‘0 defects’ or ‘100% satisfaction’. One point of view is that aggressive goals are demotivating for those doing the work, especially if perfection seems a long way off. In my view, when we think this way, we create two problems: first, we forget that all customers expect what they want, when they want it right the first time! Not just 75% or 80%. In their eyes, 100% really isn’t an option. Second, since people tend to rise to our level of expectation, setting a lower goal gives them the message that we don’t respect them enough to ‘expect’ that they ‘can’ find ways to strive towards and reach the goal…no matter how challenging! I believe that setting challenging customer-focused goals is the best way to show our teams we respect their creativity, capability and humanity!