the stretch zone

The Stretch Zone

Organisations need employees’ to be doing the best that they can, so that individual, team and business objectives can be met. The key is enabling people to do this by working in the stretch zone.

The Comfort  Zone

We are all aware of the idea of comfort zones, where we are happy to bobble along doing a reasonable job, getting paid a fair wage for a fair days work. However attractive the notion of staying in your Comfort Zone may be it isn’t a great place to be in all of the time. See our blog on Support and Challenge. Staying in the comfort zone ultimately leads to either boredom or dependency.


The impact on your business of having bored people within it is potentially catastrophic. Bored people try to do things to relieve the boredom, which frequently equates to inappropriate behaviours focussed at other employees or customers. Not a great idea.


The crazy notion that everyone has to have every decision checked by someone in authority. Great organisations recognise the fact that decisions should be made by people at the lowest possible level within the business, thus freeing up time for strategic thinking and planning by those closer to the top. If you run a command and control business this might work short term, but not the medium or long term. People who are dependent are being de-skilled every day. Some managers feel its a kindness to make all the decisions. Really it just exposes and makes individuals vulnerable during times of change.

The Panic Zone

“I didn’t get where I am today by being helped and supported. I was thrown in at the deep end, it was sink or swim!” How many times have you heard that? Its a Spartan tactic, leave the kids outside, if they survive they will be OK. Why would a business want to expose colleagues to fatal situations with no support? The outcomes are simple, people feel pressurized, alone, disposable. They either get ill or leave.

  • Financially that makes no sense, advertising posts, recruitment, selection and training.
  • Legally organisations become exposed to all kinds of claims, process’ and wash their laundry in public.
  • Morally no one has the right to do that to a colleague.

The Stretch Zone

Is the brilliant place that lies between the Comfort Zone and the Panic Zone. At PDP we specialise in exploring how to encourage people to get into that place. It feels a little awkward, it needs some planning, it is highly rewarding, motivating and fun to be there. We offer practical, pragmatic tools to enable your staff to get there, see the benefits and grow professionally. The strange thing about growing the Stretch Zone is that quite quickly our comfort zone expands to encompass new things. The Panic Zone, which was unachievable previously, then becomes the stretch zone. It’s about developing Skills, Attitudes, Knowledge and Habitual Behaviours allowing people to thrive and grow.

Call us on 08712 349 873


We would love to help you and your business.