performance of the people and how well they communicate with each other within internal teams. It is more effective in smaller organizations and contradictorily, as the team size increases, its ability to effectively communicate becomes much difficult. However, the organizational leaders’ ability to define the goals helps to cut through this complexity of team structure. Research by Deloitte showed that business organizations with high-level goal clarity are four times more likely to achieve a better business outcome. The key is proper goal setting and goal management. Let’s explore the right approach to business goal setting to build teamwork and ensure optimum output.
Manage changes with proper goal settingBusiness leaders’ ability to set realistic goals and then manage them properly is essential to manage changes. Every organization is subjected to some changes, and market and technological changes are happening now at an unprecedented pace. A change is driven by many external factors, which an organization doesn’t have full control of. However, the internal changes of an organization are driven by growth, innovation, employee demographics, and other parameters which you can control. Change management requires timely adjustments and effective prioritization of business tasks. Proper goal setting will provide clarity to the employees on how and which direction to move towards. A good goal setting strategy will also specify the tasks, role, and responsibilities for when, what, and by whom. Organizations which don’t have a defined system for communicating and managing goals are likely to fail over time.
Agility model vs. firefighting modelThe capacity to define the actual needs of a business, what needs to be done, and getting it done as planned is what every employee must have, not just the leaders. Each individual’s responsibilities and the scope of their job may vary based on their hierarchical positions in the organization, but the skill to adjust to the circumstances and priorities is essential for everyone. Appropriate goal setting is an ideal human trait to create a desired future and commit to working towards it. When it comes to a team environment, without clarity and proper communication, effective collaboration towards goal attainment never happens. Without proper goal setting and clarity, the teamwork culture breaks down into a mere “firefighting” environment.
Aligning up, down, acrossMany tend to think that business goal setting is much easier, starting at the top and then breaking down the goals for succeeding lower levels. This is just one part of the story. However, in modern-day organizations, the works are cross-functional. When it comes to a service or product, much of the things that customers value are the results of some kind of cross-functional collaboration. Defining the goals using simple language and the right approach reduce the chances for friction in building collaboration within the team and also between larger cross-functional projects and teams. Adding to it, proper 3-dimensional alignments will help bridge the communication gaps also which usually occurs vertically in typical organizations. Without proper goal setting, the complexity of organizational communication can be overwhelming. this is one reason why many businesses fail and ultimately fall into the bad debt chaos.
Formation and management of strategic goalsAll individuals have the innate desire to collaborate to achieve something meaningful. As the organizations build, it actually becomes easier for individuals to get disconnected about how their activities tie to the organizational goals. As an organization is managing changes, these disconnected individuals result in resistance to the changes and eventually collective disenfranchisement. In such a scenario, the formation of goals and effective management act as a significant tool to help people get through this engagement cycle from the change management perspective. Capturing the hearts of people requires their understanding of the proposed goals, why the achievement of those goals is important, and what they have to contribute in terms of skills and effort.
Creating agility through ongoing revisions and reviewsA good approach to make your organization receptive to change is to introduce a wider framework to implement, review, revise, and track the goals. Such a well-defined framework will help build a proper rhythm which can foster more effective communication. It will also create more accountability for each individual who knows the status of goal attainment and what to do next to move forward to get to the goals. Dwight Eisenhower once said, “plans are worthless, but planning is everything.” We can redefine his statement like this: the value of making a plan is in the understanding it produces by the collaboration required to make the plan. Sometimes the plan itself becomes outdated by the time it gets produced. The Six Disciplines program by Dwight Eisenhower focuses on creating a culture of close communication, teamwork, and effective human collaboration through regular revision of plans. This is not about producing more plans day in and out, but rather to increase the understanding and response to the changing conditions with agility.
Successful goal settingHere is a practical and effective approach to goal setting.
- Clarify the process of goal setting
- Minimalism vs. goals going wild
- Review and revise plans from time to time