The Importance of Setting Goals

“If you don’t know where you are going, then any road can take you there” said the White Rabbit to Alice in Lewis Carroll’s “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland”, just one of very many subtle and clever quotes taken from the famous 1865 novel. As we about to start the new year, it is worthwhile taking stock of what has been achieved over the past 6 or 12 months and focus on what needs to be achieved over the course of the coming year.

Clarity of direction and purpose is vital for any business. According to ‘Mercer Talent Trends, 2017 Global Study’ (“Empowerment in a disrupted world”), Australian employees stated that the “number one thing that would make a positive impact to their work situation” is “Leaders who set clear direction”, so how can this be done?

Here are three practical techniques for creating goals:

1. Ensure that these conform to the SMART principle as follows:

  • Specific – goals should be simply and easily stated so that they are clear to all
  • Measurable – so that progress towards the final objective(s) can be determined and importantly shared with others
  • Achievable – there is no point in setting targets that people don’t believe in.
    When setting formal goals for the first time, set realistic goals that are not overly ambitious and get into the habit of achieving them
  • Relevant – ensure that the goals will benefit the business and that the people assigned have the skills to capability to deliver on them
  • Time-specific – just about any goal is achievable given long enough, there must be an end date so everyone is aligned on when the goal must be completed by.

2. When defining Business Goals, consider whether one or more goals have been defined in each of the Five Key Areas of Business:

1. Financial Performance
2. Customer Service
3. Staff and Culture
4. Systems and Processes
5. Leadership

3. Keep the goals as simple as possible! Anything that is complex or time consuming to measure is unlikely to get done rendering the measure useless. Also, better to create fewer goals that are achieved than define a lot more that don’t – make goal achievement habitual.

So with 2019 rapidly approaching, will you be setting the time aside to determine what you can achieve in the coming year? Please get in touch if you would like to know more.

Ian Ash, AInstIB
Managing Director, OrgMent Business Solutions