SOURCE: Cloverpop

Cloverpop

October 06, 2015 08:02 ET

Cloverpop Research Shows That Decisions Have 3X Greater Impact on Results Than Goals

Studies Show 89 Percent Follow Through on Decisions While Only 30 Percent Follow Through on Goals

SAN FRANCISCO, CA--(Marketwired - Oct 6, 2015) -  Cloverpop today announced four consecutive 2015 studies that show decision-making has three times greater impact on business results than goal setting, including popular best practices such as SMART goals. The studies include a project with Stanford Graduate School of Business researchers.

"It turns out that people are extremely good at following through on the decisions they make, and pretty bad at following through on the goals they set," said Erik Larson, CEO, Cloverpop, which announced its new decision-making solution today. "This insight is huge for managers, since they are the ones accountable for achieving business goals."

The first Cloverpop study focused on 1800 people using, comparing how likely they were to follow through on big personal decisions (e.g. get a new job, buy a house) versus goals defined by their New Year's Resolutions (e.g. get fit, more time with family) using Google Consumer Surveys. "The investments required and the impacts on their lives were similar, and theoretically most of the resolutions would have had a bigger positive outcome," said Larson. "But the real outcomes are not comparable at all."

People in the study were almost four times more likely to follow through on their decisions, and three times more likely to fail at their goals. Overall, 64% of participants said they usually or always follow through on big decisions, while only 17% usually or always followed through on the goal of their New Year's Resolution.

Subsequent research done jointly with David Daniels, a PhD candidate at Stanford Graduate School of Business, explored whether or not the power of decisions to shape behavior can be used to increase predicted goal achievement. Participants in a study of 500 people either applied SMART (specific, measurable, achievable, results-focused and time-bound) goal setting best practices to their New Year's Resolutions, or reframed their goals as if they were decisions using the Cloverpop product. The study found that those who used decision re-framing reported increased motivation to achieve their goals and predicted higher success rates.

"Decision re-framing had a significant effect on predicted outcomes," said Daniels. "Compared to people who applied goal setting best practices, those who reframed their resolutions as decisions reported a 7 percent higher estimated probability of success, 8 percent larger estimated consequences of failure and felt 9 percent less overwhelmed by their goals. However, research in psychology and economics shows that such judgments can be poor predictors of actual future outcomes."

Accordingly, Cloverpop performed a follow-up study of that same group, tracking the outcomes of their New Year's Resolutions over a period of 10 months. The results from 300 respondents showed that 33 percent of those who reframed their goals as decisions accomplished their resolutions, compared to 30 percent of those who used SMART goal best practices. The difference was not statistically significant, indicating that even attempting to re-frame goals as decisions may have little effect on actual outcomes.

"Improving goal achievement is important. But if you step back, the most striking aspect of the research is how few people actually accomplish their goals even when applying cutting edge best practices," said Larson. "This is especially stark when you compare how powerfully decisions predict future behavior, especially in business settings."

A final Cloverpop study of 100 managers explored how often they follow through on decisions in business settings. The managers framed their decisions using the Cloverpop product, and then answered a follow up survey 2 to 3 months later. Overall, 89% of the participants successfully followed through on the decisions they made, and 37% of these decisions had outcomes that exceeded expectations.

"This research aligns with behavioral economics theory, which has clear implications for results-focused companies," summed up Daniels. "Business strategy should revolve around a decision-making process rather than a goal-setting process."

"Taken together, our research shows that decisions are about three times more likely to happen than goals," said Larson. "We need to shift our thinking from attempting to use goals to motivate or predict future performance, and instead align goals as support infrastructure for the power of decisions. If you want to know what is going to happen in your business tomorrow, start with the decisions being made today."

About Cloverpop

Cloverpop is on a mission to make decisions at work less painful and more right. Our San Francisco-based company is putting the awesome but mostly untapped benefits of behavioral economics into action for real-life business teams in a non-scary, no PhD-required way. Cloverpop's easy-to-use online solution speeds decisions, increases buy-in and delivers better business results.

For more information or to request an invitation to the preview release, visit www.cloverpop.com.

Contact Information

  • For more information:
    Eileen Conway
    Scout PR
    650-245-9015
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