If you don’t keep score, how will you know when you win?
The focus and engagement level of a team that is aligned in its goal, clear on its mission and committed from all angles to achieving specific results… is a force to be reckoned with. When an organization has well articulated goals, strategies, objectives… and of course Leadership, there is no excuse for every single person in that organization not to be crystal clear as to how their daily contributions and work contribute to working towards moving the dial on those big big big goals.
So what constitutes a goal? Well, everyone has a “title” and a job description… and for that you get a paycheque. A well crafted goal or objective stretches you and moves the organization you work for to new heights.
So using hockey analogy (’tis the season after all) here are some tips to create some goals for you and your team that move mountains.
1. Set a Big, Hairy, Audacious Goal (BHAG)
Example of a BHAG: To win the Stanley Cup
It doesn’t get any bigger than that. What is YOUR organization, department or team’s equivalent to the Stanley Cup? It should be big and a little scary and it should get your brain cells firing, your adrenalyn pumping and the little voice inside your head should be saying “wow can you imagine if we achieved this” and secretly you think you can!
2. What metrics do you want to move the dial on?
To know where you want to go, you need to know where you have been; What are all the areas that need to be firing on all cylinders for the BHAG to materialize? Which SPECIFIC stats need to be shining on the scoreboard? Only THEN can you think about your strategies to get there.
Think of metrics in a strategic way- just because you can measure it, doesn’t mean it’s important. Think of those few metrics that if you could improve even the smallest bit would yield massive results, instead of having tons of metrics that don’t move you closer to your BHAG.
Metrics in a business can be around money, process time, numbers, percentages, it can be eyeballs on websites or # of social media fans or closing ratios, or conversion rates or yield or reach…. and the list goes on. There may not be a baseline for what you want to measure, but for most things you CAN find a measurement. If you can’t measure it… don’t do it!
3. By when do you want to achieve your goal?
Seems simple, but the amount of Goals I have seen saying something like “to increase margins by 2% over 2009 number” or something to that effect….. shake my head.
If you tell me our Goal is to win the Stanley Cup… as a player, a coach, a general manager… my strategies, objectives, action plan and all the rest is going to vary wildly if you tell me you want to win it within 12 months or within 3 years.
By starting with the date you naturally write a sentence that is much more RESULTS focused.
By June 2011 to have won the Stanley Cup
By December 31st 2011 to have achieved XYZ in Revenue
By end of fourth quarter to have moved margins from 34% to 39% in category A
By December 2011 to have decreased absenteeism from 3.4 days avg per employee to 1.2
To have increased from 20,000 room nights (LY2010) to 25,000 (2011) by year end
4. Use RESULTS oriented words
Deliver/Raise/ Launch/Increase/ Decrease/Reduce/ Hire are words that have a definite result to them. They are action words and are way better than words like process, create, assist, plan, motivate, write… all words that are more process oriented and don’t make for measurable goals.
Instead of a goal being ” To write a set of HR Policies” better to say “To deliver a completed set of HR policies to the Board by this date”. Writing the policies is great, but if you write them and never do anything with them should you be celebarted? would you give out a bonus for that?
5. Develop your action plans
Your action plan should be a series of mini goals. Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Time Bound. If you think of Roberto, for him to move the dial on ONE of his stats, what are ALL the things he needs to do mentally, physically, startegically, tactically to get better in that one area.
5. Develop laserlike focus- and stay on track
Things change. You have good days and bad days. Priorities change. You run out of time. You have too much on your plate. You are under pressure. Developing the resolve to work through, around and with those pressures take practice. Focus helps you keep the main thing….. the main thing.
5. You need your coaches.
HOWEVER we often look to the person we directly report to for guidance and support and in reality, we are surrounded by peers we can learn from, lean on and get direction from. When we look at our teams as resources to rely on, and when we work in the kind of workplace where everyone is rooting for you to achieve your goals… it feels much more comfortable going for it.
6. GO FOR IT
Your Goals and Objectives are all about focus and stretching your abilities…. and practice prepares you for those moments of performance…. you know your abilities have a direct impact on the success of your team, your department and your organization. So go for it. Know that you have the tools and the ability to make it happen.
Here’s hoping you reach your BHAG….
and fingers crossed this year Luongo and his organization will reach theirs.