Everyone knows that planning is important. It’s a pretty undisputed fact. And it feels great to set exciting goals for ourselves and our companies.
But if you’ve ever set goals you didn’t accomplish, you know the other side of this story as well. It can be frustrating to continuously set goals you don’t achieve. It sucks the life out of a company and it feels like you’re locked into a pattern of underachievement… ironically, even if your company is financially sound.
The main reason this happens is that most planning processes are incomplete. They stop short of the steps necessary for tipping the odds in your favour. But it doesn’t have to be this way.
Here’s a seven step process to help you bring a new level of confidence – and excitement – to your goal setting activities. You may not hit every objective. But with a little discipline, you can get close if you set yourself up for success.
1. Set top level “strategic objectives” tied to sales, margins, profitability, customer satisfaction, and employee satisfaction.
2. Set “departmental objectives” that are tied to your company’s strategic objectives. For example, if the company wants $10 million in sales, then marketing must produce a plan for generating the required leads.
3. Make sure all objectives are SMART (Specific. Measurable. Attainable. Relevant. Time-bound.)
4. Break down objectives into “quarterly VIGS” (Very Important Goals).
5. Create plans for each department (use a Gantt chart) to set and monitor progress on a timeline for each quarter.
6. Set KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) for each objective so progress can be monitored in real-time.
7. Formally follow up and monitor progress through company meetings and reporting relationships.
We do planning sessions on a regular basis with companies of all shapes and sizes and would LOVE to help you set and achieve your goals. Now is the perfect time to get your team together to make 2015 your best year ever!