• How to Make Goal Setting Work

    In my last post, I made the bold statement that goals don’t work. In many ways, it goes counter to the 10,000 blog posts on the effectiveness of goal setting.

    So let’s be more precise: To be truly effective, goals should be a milestone along a larger journey.

    If I have a personal goal to lose 20 pounds, and focus only on that goal, then two things happen – losing the weight is hard work, and my mind focuses on that goal.

    If instead, I have a vision of becoming healthier, a strategy of eating better, and a tactic of dropping sugar from my diet, my focus changes to becoming healthier. The results (if the strategy and tactics are right) occur naturally – the weight will come off.

    Do results really engage people, or does a great vision? Yes, most of us are results-oriented, but are only truly successful if we engage our passion in something bigger.

    Let’s consider this in a business scenario.

    A company has a goal of $2 million in sales, a large increase over last year. The sales team has created clear tactics which they believe can make this happen, including a generous bonus program. I like money as much as the next guy, but simply telling me to “sell more”, even if you offer me the best tools and a nice bonus, is not going to engage my passion. I might achieve some success, but it won’t be a home run.

    Instead, imagine a company which was founded with the vision of helping revolutionize their industry and help companies be more successful. To achieve this lofty vision, they sell a great product (the same one as before). Sales were good before, but this is the year they want to disrupt the market and go BIG.

    Now the team has something bigger than them to connect to, engaging their passion. They develop clear sales and marketing strategies to go “BIG”. Clear KPIs are set – $1.5 mm, $2.0, then $2.5mm in sales (stretch goals!), but the team knows that it’s just a measurement, an indication that their vision and strategy were the right ones.

    Any bets on which sales team will achieve greater success?

    The right process for making “goals” work is Why, What, then How (Vision, Strategy, Tactics).   Measurements are there to encourage, or help us refine along the way.

    Is your team ready to engage their passion and leap ahead?

    Mike is a problem solver, technology guru and project superhero.  As a partner at Incrementa Consulting, his focus is on leveraging technology and great processes to grow your business.  You can connect with Mike on Twitter or read more of his thoughts on the Incrementa website. He is also a meditation instructor with the Vancouver Ki Society.

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