We all have goals, whether they are short-term or long-term, personal goals, or business goals. Goals can help propel us to a better and more ideal place, if that is important to us.
The Importance of Goal Setting
The secret to reaching them could all come down to the goal setting practices you follow.
A few simple concepts I have learned over the years have allowed me and our business, X5 Management, to become better at goal setting.
The first one I learned 20+ years ago from Tony Robbins. This concept got my attention when I first learned about it, and I applied it to many goals in my life. It’s called OPA.
O – Outcome (What do you want?)
P – Purpose (Why do you want it (make it compelling!)
A – Action (How will you get what you want?)
So many people don’t know exactly what they want. E.g., They might want to take their career to the next level. What does that mean exactly? More detail and clarity are needed.
From a business planning and goal setting perspective, I am a real fan of the work by John Doerr. I loved his book: Measure What Matters: How Google, Bono, and the Gates Foundation Rock the World with OKRs
(I referenced his book in one of our X5 blogs about the sales problems that your business may have. Click here to read more on that topic!)
John uses a simple but compelling model more businesses could use to produce better results. Again, another great acronym is used to simplify the concept.
The X5 Management team is gearing up for our annual Strategic Planning session, and we will embrace OKRs to help our business grow in the direction that we want to achieve. They provide critical focus and clarity to produce better results!
(Speaking of clarity, visit this post next to learn how focusing on the ABMs in sales helps you get the clarity you need for success)
They look something like this:
Objectives: What is it that the business is trying to achieve?
Key Results: They are how you will achieve the objectives!
Top-line Goals Must be Clear
As Doerr states in his book, “Leaders must get across the ‘why’, as well as the ‘what.’ Their people need more than milestones for motivation. They are thirsting for meaning, to understand how their goals relate to the mission.”
Objectives and key results are the yin and yang of goal setting
Here’s another compelling statement from John Doerr that brings home this idea:
“Objectives are the stuff of inspiration and far horizons. Key results are more earthbound, and metric driven. They typically include hard numbers for one or more gauges; revenue growth, active users, quality safety, market share, customer engagement.”
What are you measuring? Does your business measure what matters?
While it’s ultimately about producing results, many critical things must be tracked and measured, but not everything needs to be tracked. Your team needs to decide!
The critical things your business measures and tracks will make the difference with overall business objectives and results in the year ahead.
Why Goal Setting is Crucial
Goals act like a roadmap, guiding the actions and decisions of individuals and teams towards a common objective. They help align efforts, resources, and strategies, ensuring that everyone is working towards the same purpose. Without that, a vision cannot be effective.
Well-defined goals can inspire and motivate employees. When individuals have clear targets to work towards, they tend to feel more engaged and enthusiastic about their work. They know what is expected. This gives the entire team a sense of purpose and accomplishment, driving employees to put in their best effort and strive for excellence. Of course, leadership must provide progress reports and clearly and consistently communicate how closely the company is aligned with the business objectives.
Goals provide a benchmark for measuring progress and success. They enable businesses to track their performance, evaluate results, and identify areas for improvement. By setting specific, measurable goals, companies can objectively assess their achievements and make data-driven decisions to enhance productivity and efficiency.
Setting priorities and allocating resources cannot be done effectively without goals in place. By defining goals, businesses can identify the most important tasks or initiatives, including time, budget, and other resources accordingly. This ensure that all resources are utilized optimally and directed toward activities that contribute to the overall objectives.
Planning and Strategy Development
Goal setting is an integral part of the strategic planning process. It allows businesses to envision their desired outcomes and formulate comprehensive strategies throughout the organization. There may be a long list of goals after an initial strategy session, and this list must be prioritized and minimized to what is truly important in the short-term, even though a long-term vision can be discussed.
Most organizations have a vision for a “better future”, but few invest the time and resources to plan out how they will achieve that better future. That is why now, more than ever, there is a need for strategic planning and goal setting in business.
A strategic planning session facilitated by X5 Management can help you crystallize your purpose and inspire your teams to achieve aggressive but achievable goals. We use the “Macro” to “Micro” approach; think of it as a funnel.
- You examine your organization’s purpose as the foundation for your plan
- That you consider both external and internal factors that impact your business
- That you craft a 2-to-3-year roadmap with executable action plans
- That you establish accountability parameters for success
As mentioned, organizations need more than a strategic plan, they need a strategic execution plan with clear and concise goals. Ownership needs to be shared at all leadership and management levels with regular check-ins.
The strategic plan may be the steering wheel, but the execution of the strategy is the engine that propels it forward.