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4 ways to set better business goals

Some of the most common mistakes we see businesses make with goal-setting are poorly established rhythms and not being deliberate enough about what goals are set. Here are four ways to overcome these mistakes and set your business up for success:

  • Get your rhythm right - in an ideal world, you should have your annual goals set by the last week of year. Then in the first week of the year, teams should set their first-quarter goals. Too often, this process drags out, and it creates a disjointed start to the year. Get all the mid-month check-ins and monthly reviews booked into the calenders, as this is what helps keep your goal-setting rhythm nimble (learn more in this video here). A good goal-setting rhythm should be something you can set your watch by.

  • Set process goals along with outcome goals - whilst outcome goals are normally the focus (revenue, number of customers etc.) they are lag indicators. Include a healthy mix of process goals that lean toward learning and experimentation. This means you focus on the actions in your control that will help you get to the outcome.

  • Clearly articulate the balance between Operational/BAU Goals, Improvement Goals and Strategic Goals - the balance can vary by function, role and level. BAU work is necessary to keep the lights on. Continuous improvement is essential to help make the BAU easier. Strategic Goals help the business move forward. Figure out the optimal balance for each team, and irrespective of function/role/level, everyone should carry some 'improvement' responsibility.

  • Set cross-functional goals - one of the most effective ways to break down silos is by getting teams to work together to achieve common goals. The best part? When things go well, nothing unites people quite like celebrating shared success.

When you get your goal-setting right, you create more space for growth, innovation and collaboration.

Happy goal-setting!


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