You’ve set the organisational goals that are needed for success in the calendar year.  (If you haven’t, see the article on setting goals for 2018!) How do you make sure that these goals have the best chance of being realised?

1. Scope out what the outcome of each goal will look like

It’s important to be clear about what the scope of each goal is. One technique is to describe the current state and corresponding future state.  This will help you think about how you will manage change and can also be used to check overlap with other goals and manage scope (and increase focus). This will also allow you to set clear outcome measures of success.  Make sure you are taking a holistic view of success by also considering how you will achieve your goals and describing the behaviours that are necessary to achieve these results.

2. Develop a plan of action

Each major goal needs to be owned by an individual who will develop a plan of action that has clear resources needs and timelines.  This needs to be developed with representation from people who are impacted across the organisation. Other priorities need to be considered so realistic timelines can be agreed by all involved.  One idea to consider is to assume that implementing each goal will take 25-50% more time than you think (consider your track record and how unexpected priorities can divert you from longer term goals)

3. Communicate goals, why they are important and ensure that everyone is working on these priorities.

Often people will revert to the activities that they have always done especially if they don’t understand why they need to change or know how they can contribute to achieving the organisational goals.  In larger organisations a cascading process is essential, with each manager accountable for engaging their teams and translating organisational goals into team goals so clear expectations are created and agreed.  If each person in the organisation has contributed and taken ownership in setting their own personal goals in line with these organisational priorities, there will be a bigger commitment to executing these goals.

4. Follow up relentlessly and recognise success

Relentless follow up on the action plans that were agreed is critical to ensure forward movement.  Have formal check ins to hold each other accountable and to reconfirm priorities. Flexibility to adjust based on changes in the environment should be built in. Use existing 1:1 meetings and staff meetings to discuss progress, road blocks and where support is needed. Most important is to recognise and communicate successes as they are achieved.

To see how one organisation delivered on their annual goals check out this case study

To get maximize your chances of success in 2018 get in touch!


To Marcia Mendes d’Abreu for her insightful review and practical additions that made this a more rounded perspective.