Target setting has become quite indispensable in the business world although not every company out there creates huge sustainability plans. Transformational goals are set to be accomplished by a decade or two by now. But why the big plans? And is it really better to leave the fuss behind and just do what you do?

These questions lurk in corners of the corporate world of Singapore. It was discovered that although they have clinched into various forms of modern business practices, one spot appears to have missed the global scale and that is target setting. Despite the fact that large companies had launched extensive environmental and social programmes, a minute fraction has goals. Why are they behind the trend?

In the past few decades, many multinational companies started to give more meaning to goal-setting. Due to the worsening environmental and social problems, they have formulated goals that can promote better quality of life and preserve the environment. Public goal-setting has turned into a practice that is vital in the exhibition of vigorous corporate responsibility programmes. Walmart aims to use 100% renewable energy and decrease waste. While the Unilever Sustainable Living Plan has a huge 2020 target which is to cut the environmental impact of the production and application of their products.

These, obviously, are colossal plans and even if they are colossal companies, there are still uncertainties. What happens when they reach the deadline? Will they be able to cross-out their plans? Probably not. But if the result does not tilt to the optimistic side, what is the point of target setting after all? Target setting is not merely show to impress consumers. The purpose of stretch targets is to rev up businesses towards something. Without a visionary goal, businesses are nothing more than a machine that will do it was programmed to do. In the corporate world, the element of ambition is vital and it will only be ignited by a visionary goal. This is not a proposition to set unreachable targets, but a reminder that everybody needs a motivation. As long as indubitable efforts are given, recognition should be provided where appropriate.

The point of public-target setting is to inform everyone that long-term commitments should be incorporated in conscientious business routine- and that corporate accountability should not bleary. Companies that make public commitments want to display an ability to handle corporate programmes with remarkable professionalism. Furthermore, target setting simplifies reporting. Specific data can have to be collected and presented in a manner that will allow companies to track the progress and formulate solutions to budding problems. Singapore company registration is extremely fundamental but if a company really want to hop into the race, target setting is necessary.

It was revealed that a number of business leaders in Singapore are diffident about public goal-setting. This is mainly due to the trepidation of having to acknowledge their failure in hitting the target. Preserving one’s personal integrity is a part of human nature. If goal is not met, the company’s reputation will be placed at stake. However, there are some companies that public declared failure to achieve certain goals. It implies that missing a target would equate to losing integrity. Instead, they took advantage of the chance to point how far they have reached and what they have learned.

Starbucks, for example, stirred the interest of many people when it had admitted its failure to reduce energy consumption in 2011. It is hoping to achieve the goal by 2015. Only after two years, it has also acknowledged failure to help the environment by building up cup recycling solutions in various markets due to the inadequacy of infrastructure. Everybody can take solace on the fact that they did try. This is also an indication that environment and social programmes require the cooperation of other entities in order to be effective.  A change in the system may be required.

Missing a target does not have to reprehensible all the time. Nevertheless, it must happen sporadically and a clear explanation is made available. They must point out which target was missed and what they will do for its rectification. Revealing the goals exceeded and the new goals formulated can also improve public confidence. Needless to say, it would be irrational to make unfeasible commitments. A workable plan must be present to give surety to investors that the targets are not just part of a fancy show. Small targets are ideal for those that have just got company incorporation. These targets can gradually boost their practices and popularity as well. By merging sensible targets, ambition and transparency, businesses can express their capability to entrench conscientious practices. Singaporean companies can learn from the bravery of western companies and conversely they can advance with eastern values. Each side has its bits to offer.

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