The first thing that should come to mind is their relationship to your organization‘s strategic purpose. It’s useful at this point to try to clarify how we are using the word. Some people use the word “goals” to refer to the ultimate organizational purpose, or the strategic aim that points to achievement of it.
In our everyday work activities, though, goals are typically used to indicate at most, intermediate targets intended to mark our advance toward strategic, operational, or even more immediate tactical goals. Even more prosaically, they can be used to describe what we want to achieve from something as simple as a meeting or, even, a telephone call.
But in each of these cases, when you characterize your intent in terms of a goal you aim to achieve, you are ineluctably introducing two, and hopefully three, elements into the situation.
Most obviously, you (whether an individual or a group) are indicating how your behavior during the effort will be disciplined. You are indicating what you will do, what you will not do, and why. You have established a framework for perceiving the situation, prioritizing your actions with respect to it, and for making choices.
The next point can be more or less apparent depending on the scope of the situation – this is preparation. You will research all the related factors, from your own assets to those of non-organizational parties who are involved in – or who are the object of – the interaction.
Preparation also includes rehearsal, practice. You will work to make sure you and your organization will be ready to perform without a hitch when the curtain goes up.
While you are considering these factors you can see the other thing – a close and vital second to strategic execution – that goals do to an organization . . . but that’s the subject of tomorrow’s post. (And, as the week goes on, we’ll also be getting to that third element of the use of goals.)
See you then!
Today’s tip: Speaking of defining terms, please take a moment to visit this enlightening piece on corporate jargon at John Phillips‘s The Word on Employment Law.
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