I always tell people to set goals based on what you want to achieve, and then work hard – relentlessly in fact – and achieve them.
This is especially true for companies.
After all, if the goal is important to you and to the success of your business, why would you ever want to cut corners or not do everything you can to achieve it?
The truth of the matter is, when you stop wanting or stop believing in pulling out all the stops to achieve your goals, you actually have not set real goals in the first place. They may be weak hopes, but they are certainly not goals.
It is something to think about when you look at your company’s strategic and corporate plans. Whenever you see “FY 2016 Goals,” ask yourself honestly:
- Are these really ambitious goals, or just hopes or basic aspects of doing business each year? Are the goals going to motivate you and your colleagues? Or do they fall flat? Goals need to be inspirational, otherwise your team will lose interest and motivation. What’s more, if you are not seeking to achieve something that is inspired or exciting, what kind of value does it really have?
- Goals also need to be measurable. Have you defined goals that are quantifiable? Are these goals worthy of your effort and that of your team? Are they clear and have a definitive end, or do they have the potential to drag on indefinitely?
- Your goals should be specific and not vague or too general. This connects to whether or not you can measure the results, but also reflects whether or not your goals are part of achieving your overall corporate strategy.
- How committed is the organization to achieving these goals? This is sometimes a difficult question to answer, because people often lack objectivity. Commitment is one of the most critical aspects of goal-setting, because without it – you will fail before you even get started. I also think this is one of the weakest areas for most companies (after #1). Examine all the players for each goal, and make sure everyone is committed to achieving the goal before you get started.
- Set deadlines for your goals. But – do not consider missed deadlines to be a failure. Missed deadlines are a signal that something in your process did not work. Investigate what happened and take the necessary steps to fix. Based on what you learn, set another deadline and strive to achieve that.
- Put your goals down on paper and make them public. By making your goals public you add a stronger element of accountability. In fact, the more public your goals, the more aware others are of your efforts. In business, you need allies to help you accomplish each task. Share your goals and invite as many people as makes sense into the process, so you can take stronger steps to success.
- Reward your success and the success of others. People respond much more effectively to being rewarded and recognized for accomplishments than they do being admonished for minor setbacks or mistakes. In striving to meet a goal you want everyone fully motivated. Therefore, you need to maximize their energy. It does not take a rocket scientist to know that people respond better when they associate things to pleasure. You can determine how often you give out rewards (it often can depend on the person), but do not forget to emphasize success throughout your work.
Other thoughts on goal-setting in business?
If you have other thoughts on effective goal-setting in business, please share your comment below.