What are goals?
Goals represent a dot on the horizon, a place that you or your organization wants to reach, often in a certain amount of time. Examples:
- Finishing a 2-year university Data Science study successfully.
- Becoming the cheapest supermarket chain in The Netherlands.
- Minimizing the amount of mistakes in a process to less than 1%.
- Finding a good company location.
- Shortening the running time of a specific process to a maximum of 2 hours.
Every company can strive for different goals. It depends on what your company wants to excel at and what its higher ambitions are.
Types of goals
There are different types of goals:
- Operational: these goals involve daily activities, for example answering emails consistently on a daily basis.
- Tactical: these types of goals are about the way in which daily activities are handled. For example, you could only answer high-priority emails every day.
- Strategic: This is about the strategy of the company or its activities. You decide not to answer emails anymore, but handle everything through chat, What’s app or Skype, or face-to-face.
Operational goals is mostly doing more of the same, so you run the risk of falling behind. For tactical goals, you do less of the same and optimize the process, so you get a greater degree of control. Strategic goals are about adopting a completely different strategy. It’s very important scale up from operational to tactical and from tactical to strategic in a timely fashion if you don’t want to miss the boat.
Goals have to be linked to strategy
Every organization has goals, but not every organization consistently links these goals to its strategy. Making goals or plans without a strategic component is like going somewhere and not knowing what to do when you get there. Goals should always have a meaning: a higher purpose, the organization’s mission. It’s important to make sure that your operational or tactical goals fit within your company strategy.
Cohesion of goals
There can be hundreds of goals within one organization. On top of that, employees all have personal goals that they want to achieve. How can you make sure that these goals are all aligned so that they don’t get in each others’ way? That’s the way to achieving higher goals faster and with more finesse.
Sharing and discussing information, knowledge, and insights, as well as the accompanying behavior and skills, are crucial in this. We call this Business Intelligence: combining data, analyzing it, and visualizing it in order to make better decisions. That’s how they can more easily line up with each other and the various goals.
Also, Business Intelligence makes sure that you and your employees can get fast and reliable feedback about the progress towards your goals and norms.
“Passionned Group challenges the organization and isn’t easily satisfied. They make sure to get results.”
Quantification: the goal tree
Let’s say that your company needs a good, new location. Using a goal tree, you can easily visualize the goals and split them up into sub-goals. This way, everyone understands what’s necessary to reach the highest goal, and to what degree the sub-goals contribute to this.
5 tips to reach your goals faster
- Make the “why” crystal-clear to all involved. If your employees forget the goal, they can still act in line with the why. They understand what it’s all about, and can empathize better, leading to much greater support for your goals.
- Always make your goals quantifiable (SMART). This allows you to adjust in a timely fashion when unforeseen circumstances crop up, or when the focus needs to shift.
- Ensure that the various goals and sub-goals don’t “bite” each other. This prevents wasting time, money, and energy.
- Supply employees with the right tools so that they can contribute to the goals to the best of their abilities. Take complaints seriously.
- Work towards the dot on the horizon in small or medium steps, rather than trying to get there all at once. You can achieve successes along the way, which provides positive feedback and energy to all involved.
Interested in realizing your goals faster?
The specialists of Passionned Group are battle-scarred when it comes to organizational management and data-driven working. Our advisors can help you make a goal tree, implementing performance management, or determining KPIs. Feel free to contact us for a conversation, or follow one of our training courses.