Are You Focused on Results?©
By Terri L. Norvell, Business Coach & Consultant

Developing specific goals will allow your organization to move confidently toward realizing its vision. While visions are imaginative, high level and appeal to our emotions, to become realized they must be supported with specific initiatives that define how your organization will achieve its vision. This is part three in the Values, Vision & Goals success series.

Creating Your Goals
Goals form the direction for consistent efforts and action by your team, and signal organizational commitment. While the year-end is a traditional time to think of your goal setting, this is a success strategy that can be used whenever change is desired, a new project is beginning or problems need solving. You are able to accomplish the big things by taking little steps and by doing the little things right. This may appear very common and sensible, yet few people and organizations follow through to reach their maximum potential. The keys to success lay in the strategic goal development, implementation, ongoing focus and follow through. This takes discipline and commitment at all levels.

Action Application
Create five to seven key goals for your organization which you want to realize within a short time frame (3 to 12 months). Each goal should identify specific action steps, be measurable, and results oriented. Each goal should be built with an overall timeline along with benchmarks for monitoring progress. For each goal ask yourself, "What needs to happen for this goal to take place? By when does this need to happen?"

Action Application
Your team must understand how they contribute individually to the overall goals of your organization. Everyone should know, "What’s expected of me and how do I accomplish it?" This requires a commitment to written personal plans that guide each person’s decisions about what to work on and when to work on it. Everyone in your company will then have a specific action agenda that folds into your vision. The power of these individual plans is their ubiquity and uniformity. When these basics are in place, the unified efforts can create significant results that will exceed your expectations.

Action Application
Ask each person to identify five to seven goals that support your overall goals. Create a matrix to track progress and rank each goal’s importance to provide prioritization. Everyone’s plan, from the CEO to the front line manager must fit on one piece of paper. Think percentage improvements or quantifiables, and while everything in the plan may appear critical, decide which goal has a 50% importance verses a 25% importance.

Tracking Weekly Accomplishments
You want to enable your team to be self managing and disciplined in working their plan. Each person should track accomplishments and progress, along with the necessary modifications to ensure attention and focus. A combination of weekly status reports and meetings, held in-person or via teleconference, provides much needed focus and support. These meetings should encourage joint problem solving rather than just reporting so you can be kept proactively informed before any issues become a crisis.

Action Application
To avoid getting bogged down in a typical status report, follow these guidelines: limit status reports to ten minutes, for each goal your team member should recap four key elements - objectives, status, issues, recommendations. The use of progress charts and visuals can assist in monitoring the progress. All team members should have either an action plan or a task list to follow.

A straight forward process enables your entire organization to systematically move toward its vision. There is great value in simplicity as it creates order, clarity of focus and makes it easier to follow through. Being a leader in your industry means you’ve taken the time to create your plan, work your plan and ensure your entire organization stays focused.

Terri Norvell is a national business coach and consultant
for fast growing and entrepreneurial businesses.

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