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How Your Business Can Get More Done With Fewer Goals

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Did you know you will achieve more when you have fewer goals?  It’s true, however, that the quality of each plan is essential as the goals must stretch you beyond your comfort zone.

In this article, we look at how you can set business and personal goals that stretch you for the right reasons—success.

When you turn your computer on in the morning and start being productive, what will you apply your efforts towards achieving? If you’ve many goals in front of you, you might choose your favorite or prefer the plan you think is most important on any given day.

Having many goals can lead to inefficiency, bias, and stress. I say stress because the more goals you have, the less you achieve. That’s stressful.

If you want your company and teams to be hyper-performing, you need to clarify the game-changing goals. These goals must be committed each quarter, and when they’re achieved, re-set and go again. Don’t describe your business as usual as a goal. That just happens and is how the company operates day-to-day.

Hyper-Focused & Hard

Not everything can or should be improved all of the time. In fact, wanting everything to be incrementally enhanced all the time can be damaging. So, instead, target where the big wins are. These are the leading indicators that, if improved a lot, would lead to lagging indicators like revenue and retention improving.

Then, set the bar high, really high. The science of goal-setting tells you that low-balling targets do nothing for you or your company. On the contrary, challenging goals lead to far more significant achievements. So don’t be afraid to fail, be afraid of not being ambitious enough, and be even more fearful of having a company culture where failure is a reason to penalize people.

Failure should be more of a learning experience than a stick to beat people. Teams that feel safe sharing their ideas, setting challenging goals, and knowing that their skills and talents will be used and recognized will outperform those that can’t do or won’t.

Use OKR Properly

If you’ve used OKRs to set goals, ensure you’re using them correctly – most are not. Here’s a handy OKR guide to check. If you’re not, discover what they can do for you, which is a lot.

OKRs are the goal-setting framework that, when used correctly, forces companies and teams to focus on the goals and measurements that matter and then deliver them in an open, transparent, and agile way. Thus solving issues as they come up in record time.

It’s a way of setting goals that align with your strategy, compliments your company and team KPI tracking, and provides a focus for your productivity. So, it’s unsurprising that every major tech company you know uses OKRs.

Commit To Cadence

Great goal-setting is done with a predefined and committed cadence. You may be head-scratching the term ‘cadence‘ in a business environment, and that’s okay, as it is more commonly used to describe modulation in a person’s voice. In business, cadence describes a natural or ‘rhythmic sequence of events.

For example, annual goals are supported by quarterly goals, which are updated and discussed weekly. Breaking this tried and tested cadence is like putting the shopping basket for your eCommerce store in the bottom-left, not the top-right. You’ll still sell, just not as much as you would if you stick to what is proven to work.

Cadence also gives you agility, which matters in a world speeding up, not slowing down. This is where the balancing act comes in: planning in cycles optimized for impact and prolonged effort that are short enough to allow you to adapt and even pivot.

Commit To Change

Most companies set too many easy-to-achieve goals and manage them at a sub-optimal level. This is your opportunity to make goal-setting an advantage. It will take a few quarters to get right and make it second nature, but after that, it will be part of your business operations, and you won’t look back. So, the first step is committing to being good at it and not giving up.

Summing Up

Less is definitely more when it comes to goal setting. However, there are some clever ways to set up and get more done when you align what you and your staff do with what needs to be achieved for business relevance and survival.

Setting and reaching milestones for your goals is motivational and will spur you on to the finish line.

Mindset also plays a role in setting and achieving the right goals.