Tag Archives: goal setting

Goal Setting is Not the First Step

Miriam crept into the conference so as not to disturb the rest of the meeting. Everyone was working hard on their business plan for 2020. “I’m having a bit of trouble,” she said. “I know all the steps for the plan, but I am just stuck.”

“And, from our structured planning model, step one is what?” I asked.

“Step one is to create the vision for my department. And that was easy. I think I got it all captured in a couple of sentences. It’s the rest of the plan that I am having difficulty with.”

“Interesting,” I replied, “that you can capture that much detail in two sentences.”

“Well, you are right,” Miriam confessed. “There isn’t a lot of detail, but I thought it would be better if it was short.”

“Miriam, here is the way the vision part of the plan works. The more detailed it is, the clearer the images are, the easier it is to write the rest of the plan. Instead of two sentences, write two pages. I want to know who your customers are and what services you provide. You probably have more than one customer segment, tell me how they are different and how your services to each are different? Tell me what position you hold in the marketplace, what your market share is? Who are your competitors? Tell me what your competitive advantage is, what are your core competencies? Who are your key personnel, how do you find them, how do you grow them? Tell me about your facilities, your plant? How do you control quality? How do you guarantee performance?”

Miriam left the room with a bit of thinking to do. A couple of days later, I read her vision statement. It contained all the detail we talked about and more. The plan that followed was clear and detailed, all driven by a carefully constructed word picture of the future.

The first step in the plan is vision.
—–
Vision
Inventory of Current State
Goals
Action Plan
Resources (Budget)
Communication Plan
Follow-up Steps

Creating Goal Visibility

“Goals. Who needs ‘em?” asked Yolanda. “Every year, I set some goals. It’s kind of like my New Year’s Resolutions. By the end of February, I can’t even remember what they were.”

“Oh? So, tell me about your resolution for this year.” Yolanda looked a bit uncomfortable.

“Well, I haven’t exactly worked it out, yet. Until I am sure, I would rather not go blabbing it around.”

“Have you thought, perhaps, that’s why your New Year’s resolution never works?”

“What do you mean?”

“Yolanda, your New Year’s resolution never works, because you never committed to it. You never clearly defined it. Did you ever write it down?” Yolanda was silent. “Here is the management skill. Goals work just like New Year’s resolutions. If you really want to make a change, write it down. Then say it to yourself out loud. Then say it out loud in front of a group of people. And if you really want to make it stick, give that group permission to hold you accountable for the goal. Take that written goal and post it somewhere public, where you see it every day, where others see it every day. You can start with a 3×5 card taped to your mirror.”

What is your resolution this year? What major thing do you want to achieve? Have you written it down? Have you shared it with your team? I am curious. What do you do to keep your goals visible throughout the year?