2019 – is it just another year, or is it time for a new goal setting approach that helps you actually deliver meaningful results?
Most business owners and leaders use January to reflect and think of what they will do differently in the upcoming year. A time for goal-setting. This might be for their business and/or for themselves. However, like most of us, we think, reflect, have ideas and then the working year starts and we go on with what we’ve always done.
The Secret To Effective Goal Setting
You like me know that there is proof that we are much more likely to achieve our goals if we:
- Write them down
- Verify or communicate them to someone who can keep us accountable
With this in mind, as well as our busy life, the best advice I can give you about goal setting is to get some coffee and/or single malt, pen and paper, and just WRoTE. Just write things down – don’t worry initially if they don’t make sense or are not achievable – just get everything down.
Then, use that list as a starting point to discuss with your business partner and team and refine as you go along.
A technique I use (and suggest to my clients) to help me along is to do a “start/stop/continue” list.
- First, What are three things that I should START doing in 2019?
- Then, What are three things that I should STOP doing in 2019?
- Finally, What are three things that I should CONTINUE doing in 2019?
This is the hardest stage if things are going well for you and you want things just to continue as they are. (In this case you might want to start with the Stop or the Continue).
However, very few industries or organisations are untouched by change. It might be change in taste and habits, or industry and government regulation. For instance, one of my clients runs music festivals and they are constantly concerned about what governments (and society generally) will do about pill testing so they need scenario planning for all alternatives. So, for effective goal setting in 2019, you still need to full the START list!
Here are some suggestions for your START list:
- Have a facilitated workshop where you get your team together and plan out 2019 with what needs to be done by when.
This group exercise facilitated by an independent facilitator will elicit more ideas than you sitting alone and doing it. And you will have a document to which you can hold yourselves accountable.
- Commence and/or close each team meeting with a positive thanks or praise to someone.
Many people find this cheesy but we don’t give ourselves or our people enough thanks. Something simple like ‘you really helped us out by processing that payment quickly yesterday’ is all it takes.
- Being proactive with technology changes.
Very few industries are unaffected by technology. Have you looked recently on what technology is out there and how it could make things more productive for you? For instance, a client of mine is a food exporter and has been running their financial operations on a basic old accounting package. While it did the job, they realised they needed a platform for future growth and are now implementing a modern, comprehensive ERP system.
There are always things you can stop doing to make your business better. Even small things can make a big difference, and they keep everyone motivated! Or dare to tackle long term frustrations. For example here are some thought starters, suggestions based on what some of my clients are doing:
- Phase out that product that has been underperforming for years and you kept thinking it would turn around
- Stop wasting time in meetings discussing things that never change. (Maybe think of a structure and tool for your meetings to ensure that you discuss only relevant and timely items…)
- Why berate people when things go wrong, particularly in public? Think of ways you can give feedback that doesn’t involve either you or the recipient getting upset or using harsh and hurtful words.
There are things that you have put in place in your business that are working well and you would like to continue. (And you have measured that they are working… haven’t you?)
Here are some examples of what some of my clients have put in place and will continue in 2019:
- A “working from home” policy has improved morale and also productivity for the team.
(And a swear jar for those that make snide comments about it…)
- Getting feedback from customers on what they actually think of our services.
This is by survey but also by a structured approach to talking with them and gaining their feedback.
- Use of Trello to structure and track work and when it needs to be done. (For those that don’t know, Trello is an IT application that groups tasks so that it is clear on who needs to do what task by when).
- Having a program to uplift skills in the workforce.
One of my clients uses a structured Learning and Development (L&D) program to ensure that all staff have the opportunity to increase their skills over the year.
Try This Goal Setting Approach Today
So, now you have some suggestions on a Start/Stop/Continue list. Trust me, it is a practical way to approach goal setting and to stick to your personal or business goals! Why not try WRITING a list for yourself and one for your business? Moreover, why not make a start on it tonight or tomorrow?
We, at Nenke Consulting, hope you and your business have a great 2019 (full of achieved goals)!
Any question? Contact Craig Nenke here.