While recently putting the finishing touches on a workshop I am doing next week on vision, I thought about why people rarely set goals and/or have a vision. What's one of the biggest obstacles you face when you think about setting goals? Is it, what goals should I set? Or do your goals seem arbitrary? It's difficult to set goals when you aren't sold on the process.
One of the tools that my business works to implement into a business is a management by objectives system. It's challenging to get this system implemented initially as business owners are used to tracking numbers but they aren't used to doing anything with them. Business owners either get really happy about their numbers or they get depressed.
How can you set goals that truly transform the way that you do business?
This is what I look for in a business owner to know that our objective management system is working as it should.
Doing this requires that you, first, set goals. It's important during the goal setting phase to examine the facts and issues surrounding your goals.
If I am working with a chiropractor and she tells me she wants to double the size of her practice this year. My next question is, what data do you have to support that this is possible? Let's look at the facts surrounding this goal. If we come to consensus on the facts then we talk about the issues of achieving the goal. Issues like; what happens to service if you grow too fast?, how much more personnel do you need?, etc. You make your goals feel less arbitrary when you confront, as Jim Collins call them, “the brutal facts” and issues surrounding your goals.
Step two is to decide how to measure your progress. What are the most important data that you need to track to ensure that you are on the right track? As a business owner, you don't have to be the one that complies this data. Get someone on your team to help you with this.
The last step to creating transformational goals is the hardest and most often overlooked. Analyzing the data and taking action based on the data. Setting goals and tracking numbers are the easy part. Figuring out how to keep your business on the goal path is the challenge.
To create transformation, you need to analyze data in short time periods. If you have a quarterly goal and you wait until the end of the quarter to analyze your progress, you are too late. Changes in your business take time to implement and bear fruit. The quicker you can initiate change the better.
Change is what transformational goal setting is all about. If your goals don't create the space for you to modify behaviors in your business then those goals are worthless and you will have validated any concerns that you had about goal setting to begin with.
Take a look at your goal setting record. Is it consistent? Have you used your goals to truly create change in your business or for yourself?
Look at your business. Do you have a long term vision or as my friend Rich Christensen calls it, a beacon in the fog? Do you have goals that everyone on the team knows about and that is pushing your business forward? If the answer is no the I know what you can during your next power hour.
If you need help with this, you can leave a comment or contact me here.