Setting annual goals for an organisation can be challenging, especially when you work in an environment that is constantly changing. However taking time to reflect, connect with colleagues and look forward can be invaluable in reenergizing and focusing your team on the year ahead. If everyone is working towards the same end goal it is much more likely you will have a successful 2019. If you do have time to step back (highly recommended!) and take an even longer term view you may want to read Everyone in that direction now!
- Understand where you are today and celebrate your successes.What have you achieved over the last 12 months? (If you have moved from once a year reviews to ongoing performance feedback – it’s even more important to take time to reflect on overall achievements). What is going on with your customers and stakeholders that may impact what you can achieve in 2019? What is outstanding from 2018 that you need to carry forward to 2019?
- Identify how you will measure success in 2019 (and beyond).How did you know you were successful in 2018? What will success look like from a financial perspective? How will your customers and partners see success? What about your internal measures? Imagine you are reviewing the year in December 2019 and create a picture.
- Do a reality check. What are the big projects / activities that will need to happen? Who will take on ownership for each of those projects? Do you have the resources (budget and people) to get to where you want to be?What would stop you achieving these goals and how will you address? Do you need to modify targets or timelines in order to make goals achievable? Or add resources?
- Agree how you will need to behave as a team to get these results.When will you meet to review progress? (consider more frequent, faster and informal feedback loops) How will you support each other? How will you hold each other accountable?
- Decide who else needs to know about your goals and how you will engage them so you can achieve your annual goals.
Once you have gone through this process together as a team, you will be much more prepared to take a more strategic view leading to longer term sustainability. This is a great first step and is more practical than having to develop a full scale strategic plan. One organisation I worked with used a similar process to set their annual goals which helped them to a focused and accountable future.
Larraine Solomon who reminded me it was time to refresh the article I wrote last year and reinforced the criticality of ongoing rather than annual performance feedback