Unlike basketball, in hockey, goal tending is a good thing – well, when it comes to achieving quarterly goals in corporate America you also need a good goalie! Let me explain.
It’s the first quarter and there all sorts of exciting goals to be set for the year ahead. Meetings led by the CEO or President of the company announcing the new objectives and initiatives for the year. It’s like a giant pep-rally, everyone’s cheering and applauding. You get a ton of new marketing material and re-branding swag to take back to your cubicle to show everyone you are a team player and you’re ready to tackle the new corporate agenda.
Then as days turn into weeks and weeks to months, the next thing you know it’s Summer time and you have no idea what’s going on as it relates to those big 1st quarter plans. The supervisors and managers don’t know anything either – and so it seems no one cares. Business as usual.
There could be many reasons behind the failure of those goals. There could be a change in direction, a change in leadership, finances, market trends or just a lack of planning. It’s normal for a company to experience ups and downs through the course of the year. But big goals don’t have to die slowly; you can achieve those goals and keep the excitement going. Here’s how.
Bite Sized Pieces
How do you eat an elephant? Well if you’re into that kind of thing, you do it one bit at time. Break those lofty annual goals up into smaller more manageable pieces. This works because it allows the teams to visualize attainable goals – they won’t be overwhelmed. The team stays motivated, they feel more accomplished, as if their work is making a difference – so they are more engaged and ready to tackle the next piece.
Establish smaller life cycles for the goals. By breaking each goal into smaller parts and life cycles this increases the sense of urgency to get started and finished. Instead of having 3 -6 month time frames, develop a goal cycle of 45-60 days. That’s plenty of time to complete those manageable bite sized pieces; it’s more realistic and it improves the probability of competition.
Show and Tell
This is the accountability and communication piece. There needs to be some sort of digital display or old school dry erase board – something which shows the progress of each component and the current status of the project. This provides a status update so everyone is on the same page and aware of the progress.
Adjust, Adapt and Adopt
As you progress through the year, there will be challenges. It’s important to pay attention to external forces – the economy – laws – workforce trends –technology and competition. Those factors can have a negative or a positive impact on your goals which makes it imperative that you pay attention. You may need to make some adjustments or even lower your goals. Think back when the recession hit, many companies changed their goals from growth to survival.
The Goal Tender
Finally, you need a goal tender, someone who tends to the goals. They are tasked with making sure each department is completing their part. This person(s) will need to analyze the situation on a regular basis and stay in communication with departmental leaders. They will find out what is needed, the problem areas and find resolutions. The goal tender will also provide whatever the team needs to meet their goals (i.e., more staff, more equipment, more time, more resources, more direction, etc.) The goal tender won’t SLAP your shots away from the goal; they ensure you make them.
Now go find your goalie!