In the KeyneLink Process, all goals link back to the organizational initiatives. This is where you start getting a clear line of sight from vision to strategic plan to initiatives to all the goals within the organization. Goals should be specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and time-bound. The more clearly you can state the goal, the easier it will be to attain. For example, “I will achieve a 4 percent expense-to-revenue ratio in my territory” not “I will improve expense management in my territory.” That’s too vague. The more specific a goal is, the less open to interpretation it is.
Part of making a goal specific is not only defining the terms but also setting a hard number (or other specific measurement) to it. In the KeyneLink Process, the goal measurement criteria are unique. Not only do the employee and manager agree on how to measure the goal, but they also agree on what constitutes missed, met and exceeded.
Goals must be attainable and realistic. Is it realistic to think you can reach $3.1 million in sales in your territory? It is realistic to think you can do it by the end of the year? If the answer is yes, great. If it’s no, then the measurement criteria needs to be changed. Putting an end date on a goal is also part of measuring it. It’s great to say that you’re going to increase sales to $3.1 million, but by when? If you don’t set a time limit to accomplish the goal, it becomes a desire instead of a goal. A time limit put a sense of urgency to the goal.
It’s also important to identify the benefits of achieving the goal. Why is this goal important? This step helps keep motivational levels high and boost them when they’re low. Also, make sure to list tasks that need to be accomplished in order to achieve your goals. Tasks are small, manageable activities that “step” you towards your goal. Set target dates for accomplishing each step. This helps you keep on track to reaching your goals.
Develop a method for tracking your progress. It could be a series of dates you establish as checkpoints, a periodic report, another person who will help hold you accountable, etc. Keep in mind that if you cannot measure progress, you cannot manage it. Tracking progress keeps you focused on the goal and helps to maintain motivation.
The wisdom from this blog post came from KeyneLink’s strategy-execution manual. The KeyneLink system helps senior leadership deliver faster, better decisions, while building a world-class execution capability throughout their company. More to come!