Aha! Insights

Your Goals Don’t Matter 

If you want to become a better business partner and a valued leader engaged in activities of strategic importance, realize that your partners care about their goals, not yours. And if your company wants to achieve its strategic goals, all individual goals must be aligned with the company’s greater goals.

The Aha! Unless your goals are in complete alignment to the overall goals of your division or company, you may be working at cross-purposes and nobody will give two hoots about them.

Three Ways to Make Your Goals Matter

  • Sit down with one of your critical stakeholders and ask them about their goals. Ask why they have those goals and how they are doing in achieving their goals.
  • Compare your goals to a key partner’s goals. Write them side-by-side and look for which ones are not aligned. Set up a discussion with your partner to discuss how to get better aligned.
  • Ask your team to bring their top 3 goals to your next staff meeting. Post the overall company goals and the team goals on flip charts. Use colored markers to circle goals that line up. Discuss the ones that are not circled.

A Measurement Is a Number 

In the midst of a major client project to simplify 22 processes, teams were reporting on their progress. One after another, team leaders reported with comments such as: “we feel like it is a good solution”, “everyone agrees it is the right thing to do” and “we will have the new process in place soon.”

Every report was missing a major piece of information: a measurable result! We explained that a measurement is a NUMBER assigned to a characteristic of an object or event that can be compared to other objects or events.

The Aha! Sometimes simple concepts are assumed to be universal knowledge.

Five Measurement Ideas:

  • Survey key stakeholders to score your performance against specific goals
  • Create a one-page dashboard that tells your performance story
  • Translate customer needs into measures
  • Track progress on a few critical priorities that will deliver results
  • Find the measures that help improve your process

Doing Leads to Being 

Our client wanted to create a customer-focused mindset in her organization. She explained that she had sent out emails, hung posters in meeting rooms, and held employee meetings, but nothing had changed and she was frustrated. What was she missing?

We often see leaders telling their organization about a change they want, but words without action won’t work. Only by doing will change stick.

The Aha! Doing a new activity, instead of talking about it, will create a new mindset and lead to lasting change.

Five Activities to Develop a New Mindset in Your Organization:

  • To be more customer-focused, invite a customer in for one half-day each month so that your team can interview them, or even better - send your team out to visit customers.
  • To be better internal partners, ask your team to interview key stakeholders about the service level they are experiencing from your function and report what they learn to the group.
  • To improve your processes, post a work flow map on the wall and ask a team member to walk you through it and identify what works and what could be better.
  • To encourage more innovation, ask each team member to dedicate a certain amount of uninterrupted time each week to work on new ideas for a specific challenge.
  • To make your team more accountable to results, post a performance dashboard on the wall and have stand-up meetings in which each team member talks about their performance and their plans for improvement.