Goals - Key Indicators
Strategy without tactics is the slowest route to victory. Tactics without strategy is the noise before defeat. Sun Tzŭ c. 490 BC, Chinese military strategist
It is much more difficult to measure non performance than performance. Harold S. Geneen, former CEO of ITT
“Don’t lower your expectations to meet your performance. Raise your level of performance to meet your expectations.” – Ralph Marston
“Effective leadership is not about making speeches or being liked; leadership is defined by results not attributes.” – Peter Drucker
You need to measure what you intend to achieve. Without having a yardstick to measure what you intend to achieve you are wasting time. I will use an analogy that has been used many times. Imagine playing a game that has no scores and no set time limits.
The participants will quickly tire of the game and move on as they will not understand if their input in the game matters. No visible results mean it’s a waste of energy and they will quickly move onto other activities.
Human beings are geared unconsciously to attain goals and objectives. Without purpose we drift aimlessly. Have key indicators for what you consider important and valuable in your life.
Monitor /Track your Goals and Objectives
Monitoring and controlling your goal achievement is critical. When you set out to achieve your most critical goals you need to monitor and control them diligently. The best of the best always monitor their goal attainment down to the last detail.
We will use sports as an example here. All top athletes have set out key critical performance thresholds before they embark on their quest to achieve their goals.
An athlete’s goal may be to beat the world 10,000 metres record. The first metric is to decide the overall outcome. This is to achieve a target of going below the existing world record. Second is to ascertain the critical and mandatory must do’s to set a new record. The athlete has to:
- Ensure they get their running technique right
- Practice for a minimum number of hours per day and alternate this with rest periods
- Go to the gym and work on specific muscle areas to strengthen their body each day
- Ensure they compete regularly against the best and WIN against the best
- Get the right diet and ensure this is enforced strictly
- Get the right mental performance training to strengthen their resolve
They have now set out key performance measures/indicators that can be tracked. Any top athlete will now plan daily and weekly routines that will capture all the six elements above into their training programmes.
They will prioritise those six objectives and allocate the necessary hours to achieve each goal measure. A record will be kept and tracked daily, weekly, monthly against each key measure. This brings out a baseline and progress chart that can be used to effectively achieve the end goal.
Feedback and the Loop process
Another key aspect about controlling and monitoring goals is that it also gives you precise feedback back to you as an individual. If you have embarked on a goal but all indicators and results show that no measurable progress is been made despite working on them for a considerable time you might need to pivot towards another goal.
It is also a sign of wisdom if you are able to realise where your limitations truly are and redirect your energy and effort elsewhere. This is why goals need to be specific and measurable. Goals lead to outcomes and these outcomes have to be measurable.
Once you have a target set you need to measure your progress daily without fail. Sticking to this task without fail is also one true measure of an achiever. The best always track what they are doing diligently. The records always tell a story.
The Corporate Workplace
Moving over to the best corporations and business entities. The best businesses entities track their Key result areas/Key Critical Success Factors diligently. Sales, marketing, costs, new products and improvements to existing products – revenue inflow and outflow are tracked down to the last detail. Continual sales and retention of existing customers are the life blood of any business.
To survive and thrive a company needs to ensure their daily sales targets are been achieved and exceeded. How many leads have been brought in, how many presentations have been made? How many sales have been made? How is the marketing effort going on?
How is customer service measuring up? Are customer surveys been carried out periodically? Are costs been controlled? How is the customer’s key product measuring up in the market? Is it been improved and do they have new exciting products in the pipeline. These all have to be tracked and measured diligently.
Look at great companies like Apple, Microsoft, Mercedes Benz, Porsche they are always iterating and producing new products to the market each and every year. They understand the importance of having the right metric tracking systems in place.
They are consistently feeling the market pulse, trying out new products and technology, advertising these products, reducing costs and getting more efficient. We can also do the same as individuals and put the necessary metrics to achieve our goals.
What are the top five areas, dreams or goals you need to achieve? Set indicators for them to track progress in each area? It can be daily, weekly or monthly but ensure you set a tracker in place.
Measure what matters _ OKRs, the simple idea that drives 10x growth – John Doerr
Objectives and Key Results: Driving Focus, Alignment, and Engagement with OKRs – Paul R. Niven Ben Lamorte