Download (direct link):
• Goals give people something to strive for. When challenged to reach goals beyond their normal level of performance, employees are more highly motivated than when goals are too easy to achieve. Design goals that stretch your employees—goals that they will have to strive to accomplish.
Goals must link directly to an organization’s vision to be useful. Managers create compelling visions, and they then work with employees to set and achieve the goals to reach those visions. The best goals:
EXECUTION: GETTING THE JOB DONE
• Are few in number and specific in purpose.
• Are stretch goals—not too easy, not too difficult.
• Involve people—when you involve others, you get buy-in so it be-
comes their goal, not just yours.
The importance of setting goals and planning is illustrated by venture capitalist and marketing communications expert Debra Jones. She tells businesspeople to remember that they have 100 balls in the air at any given time. Eighty-five of those balls are rubber; if they drop, no harm is done. Ten of those balls are rocks—they make a big noise when they’re dropped, but again, no harm is done. However, five of those balls that every businessperson juggles are made of glass—drop one of those and it shatters, creating a big problem for the organization. Setting goals and developing plans help you figure out which of the balls you’re juggling are ones that, if dropped, your organization will recover and ones that, if dropped, may put your organization in peril. Do you know what kind of balls you’re juggling?
There are all kinds of goals; some are short term and specific while others are long term and indefinite. And while some goals can be easily understood by most any employee, others can be complex and difficult to figure out. Still others can be easily accomplished while others are virtually impossible to attain.
This is all well and good, but the whole point of setting goals is to achieve them. Goals should consistently be understandable, realistic, and attainable. You’re wasting your time (and your employees’ time) by going to the trouble of calling meetings, involving employees, and burning precious time, only to end up with goals that cannot be achieved.
The best goals are SMART goals—specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-bound (see pages 115-116).
The Management Bible
THE BIG PICTURE
Former President and Co-CEO, Amway Corporation
Question: How does a large business like Amway stay nimble in fast-changing markets?
Answer: What we're trying to create here is an atmosphere of nimbleness or an attitude that we're prepared to go where we need to go. Historically at this company, there's been a lot of inertia, and that inertia always works in our way. We had 40 years of doing a lot of things very much the same way, so we've been straight lining for quite a while. And while we've made minor adjustments in the course of things, it's been essentially the same basic business concept for all these years. But, because of the introduction of technology and a real fundamental change in the competitive environment, we have to look at our business in a new way and acknowledge as well that we have to take an entirely different attitude. Instead of trying to optimize in a direction because we know which direction we're going and we can optimize it, we have to recreate the mentality around here of a willingness to change, or as we've expressed it around here, we've got to learn how to do "new" better. And how to do "new" well. That's been a catch phrase we've used; doing new things is a skill that we have to acquire. And a lot of that is an attitude of getting rid of fear, fear of change, getting rid of resistance to change, viewing change as opportunity as opposed to risk or challenge, and then at the personal level, people understanding that change poses opportunity for them in their day-to-day work and their jobs; it doesn't inherently pose a risk to their security.
Question: When you're talking about three million people out there selling your products, how do you communicate that sense of immediacy to them?
EXECUTION: GETTING THE JOB DONE
Answer: Although we have a large organization, a lot of them are very tactical, they're very much involved in the here and now, and their ability or their willingness to move is already pretty good. The resistance tends to be within those who have a greater financial or time investment or longevity stack. So the individuals in our organization who have been around for a longer time or have a particular position that suits them well are now going into a period in their life where they just don't want to change much. Or they view change as having more downside than upside to them. So it's really breaking through at the more senior levels. At the more junior levels in the organization, people are pretty open. So the challenge for us is to get the blood flowing among the more entrenched group—which is a very influential group in any organization—the leadership group. In our case, that's a small enough group that it's actually something we can impact. And they in turn will set the agenda for the rest of the organization.