I bet you have had the same experience I have with goals. Your boss asks you to bring your twelve, six, and 90-day goals to a meeting. She reads the goals and maybe gives you a couple of adjustments, then you go back to work.
Eighty-five days later, you get a reminder to connect with your boss about those goals, if they are a REALLY good manager. Meanwhile, both you and the manager have tucked those goals neatly into a desk drawer while you frantically have worked on the urgent issues of the day. On day 87 you quickly scribble some notes, find places where you loosely worked on something sort of related to the goals, and you show up to the meeting hoping it doesn’t come up, and it usually doesn’t.
Organizations spend so much time planning goals and very little time working on the parts of an organization that creates momentum. So today, I want you to consider abandoning goal setting, well not entirely, just how we have framed our goals in the past.
What if instead, we applied the principals used in 400 training? I learned about this a few weeks ago while sitting with a CEO and explaining how we would attack a project in sprints not laps. (more on that to come). The principle is simple: let’s study runners who excel at the 400-meter train by running shorter distances as fast as they can and building up to a consistent speed over the duration.
In our work what if we identify the goal, we are trying to accomplish. Once we have a clear purpose and defined win, we create a plan to achieve that goal.
Once we create the plan, now we set up weekly checkpoints to identify how we are progressing towards the goal. Where are we excelling Green), confused or stuck (yellow), stopped (red)?
Short weekly check-ins with clear action steps for the next week will help us achieve more, know where we are in the process, and the goals we have for our organization, thus creating momentum and success. These sprints force our attention toward the things we measure and talk about every week. You WILL see movement, action, and momentum around the things that intentionally get your attention!
Here is the challenge, try it for a month. See if it doesn’t work and let me know your results!