Commit goals to paper

Ian Ash 195271_06

Wouldn’t it be great if 2019-20 were your best year yet?

As we have just embarked on a new financial year, now is a great time to plan what you want to achieve which means starting with the end in mind and defining your specific business goals. Many business owners may claim to have these already defined but few actually have these formally written down anywhere, so why bother anyway?

Well, here are 3 good reasons for taking the time to do this properly:

CLARITY

Something almost magical happens when you commit what is in your head to paper or a Word document. It is almost as if your words take on a presence of their own daring you to defend the targets you have just set yourself and think harder about whether this is really what you want. It is not at all uncommon for the original objective(s) to be honed, refined or even completely rewritten as the implications of your own ambitions become more clear. When goals remain in your head, they can be easily changed and it’s very hard to hit a moving target.

As a former business award judge, I had the opportunity to review submissions that included a question on a company’s business goals. These often included some lofty ambitions such as “grow the business by 50%”, but did this imply increasing annual turnover, net profit, number of customers or number of staff? This is where the application of the SMART principle (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Time-specific) provides tremendous benefit in crystallising what is required and how achievement can be measured.

FOCUS

In recent discussions with business owners, I actually had two tell me that setting a specific goal was “irrelevant” since they would “get what they would get” and because you cannot predict some targets (e.g. sales). However, this is simply not true. You may well have seen the Jim Carey interview on Oprah in 1997 who described how as a struggling young actor, he wrote himself a cheque in November 1992 for $10 million for “acting services rendered” dated 3 years into the future and saw this become a reality when he got his first movie role in Dumb and Dumber just before November 1995. The clearer we are about our ultimate objective(s), the more our actions line up accordingly to maximise the likelihood of success.

ALIGNMENT

Whilst it may be obvious to us what needs to be achieved, it is dangerous to assume that everyone else has this same level of understanding. Writing goals down and sharing them with your staff early on provides the opportunity for them to be further refined and improved and greatly enhances wider buy-in to their achievement.

Here’s to your success in 2019-2020 through well-defined business goals.

Ian Ash is the managing director of OrgMent Business Solutions (www.ombs.com.au)

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