For a goal to be relevant, it must tie to the broader purpose and goals of the organization. Your strategy (which consists of a desired future state and definition of how you'll get there) should break down into smaller interim goals on that path. And every goal that gets set in the organization should be able to be linked to an element of your strategy.
- For a goal to be really relevant, it has to tie to the broader purpose and goals of the entire organization. Your strategy is going to help drive that. The strategy consists of a desired future state and definition of how you're going to get there. You should break that strategy down into smaller interim goals on that path. Every goal that gets set in the organization should be linked to that broader element of your strategy. How do you do that? Take your vision and your mission.
Look at where you're going as an organization. Break that down into major themes over the course of the strategic planning period. For each theme, break that down into actions you'll have to take to achieve that theme. For each action, break that down into subactions until you can set an individual goal for each of those actions. I worked for a lawn and garden company at one point and I was in the strategic planning group. We said, "We're no longer going to "just be a lawn and garden company.
"We're going to move into outdoor living." It was a much broader expansion strategy. For each part of the organization, we set goals that were tied to that outdoor living strategy. Our consumer packaged goods business had goals for new product line expansion and getting in to new categories. Our services business had goals for offering new services. Even in the strategy group, we had goals for achieving that outdoor living strategy.
We had goals for how many acquisitions we would do, what categories we were going to enter, and for each acquisition we had goals related to targets we were going to make offers to. We had a time for when we were going to make the offer. We had deadlines for making a deal. We had deadlines and goals around integration, execution of the plan, and expansion of those businesses once they were acquired. Every single one of those goals tied to a broader strategic theme, and those themes tied to the broader strategy of getting into outdoor living.
We all knew how we were contributing to the broader strategy. Therefore, our goals made sense and they were meaningful and relevant to the mission of the organization. When you set your goals, make sure that you can go from strategy to themes to actions to goals, and then explain to the members of your team how those goals roll up to the broader strategy. It will give their work meaning and help them understand how they fit in.
Along with providing guidance on how to link individual employee goals to organizational strategy, Mike walks you through the different types of goals, including bottom-up, zero-based, commit, and stretch goals. He also helps you use goals to change behaviors, build new skills among employees, and make goals actionable by using incentives and tying them to specific activities. He concludes with a comprehensive plan for setting and implementing goals, and some tips on dealing with challenges such as conflicting goals.
- Identifying goals and goal types
- Setting SMART goals
- Linking goals to business strategy
- Building goals from the bottom up or top down
- Creating stretch goals
- Outlining activities and resources to help employees achieve goals
- Reviewing and revising goals
- Reconciling conflicting goals