Success is Unattainable Without Documented Goals
There have been many articles and books written about setting goals. As old and redundant goal setting articles seem I believe it is worth revsiting. However, most goal setting information is more personal in nature. I want to discuss goal setting from a business perspective.
Past studies indicate that the top three percent of successful companies all have written goals. Most companies have an idea of what they are trying to accomplish but the question becomes how many of these objectives are actually documented in detail. I mean documented beyond the typical objective of growing sales by X percent. In other words, every goal should have an attendant action plan with the desired results listed for each task, a timeline for completion and assigned individual accountability for completing each task.
Goals Must Have a Personality
The personality of a goal defines it. Characteristics include the following:
Achievability: Just because we may not have done something in the past doesn't make
it impossible for us. Odds are some company, some management team, somewhere, at some point in time, has done what you would like to do. That by itself makes it possible. Almost anything is possible if you release the creativity and innovation of your employees. This requires a high level of empowerment.
Believability: Is this really possible? Do you have the resources, the time, the discipline? What have you already done that can be leveraged to achieve this goal? Answering these questions will help build confidence and develop an analytical thought process that enhances creativity.
Meaningful: Whatever you set as a goal must have meaning. Every human being asks the question "What's in it for me?" whenever thay are challenged to stretch and reach beyond their comfort zone. You should have your own set of reasons as to why attaining this goal is important. By knowing why you want to attain something is a powerful force. Once you understand the goal and why it is meaningful not only to the company but to employees as individuals you will be able to focus on achieving it.
Measurable: This is an over used phrase but that doesn't diminish its imprtance. If you can't measure it - you can't manage it. However, don't make the common mistake of trying to manage the results. You must manage the activities that create the results. Then and only then will the results take care of themselves.
Create Success Milestones
It isn't always easy to see how much you have accomplished by looking at statistics. We often just focus on the long road ahead. By creating milestones set up in such a way that you can see results as you progress will help provide the needed momentum to keep going. Make sure the goals are realistic. When goals are given that are unrealistic, the mission is doomed from the beginning. It immediately gives a feeling of despair to the management team, which can be devastating to morale.
Ten Powerful Questions:
Establish your goal setting process by asking your entire management team thses ten powerful questions.
1. What do we want to accomplish as a company?
2. What will achieving what we want do for our employees, our company and you personally?
3. How will we know when we have accomplished our goalst?
4. How will others know when we have accomplished our goals?
5. Where, when, and with who do engage to accomplish our goals?
6. What stops us from having it done already?
7. How will our desired outcome affect other areas of the business?
8. What resources do we already have that will contribute to our success?
9. What additional resources do we need in order to accomplish our goals?
10. How are we going to get there?