Jesse Lyn Stoner’s blog posting 6 Tips to Set Goals That Will Get You Where You Want to Go got me thinking about how I help companies create a vision, set goals, and measure actions. I’ve written before about the Vern Harnish One Page Strategic Plan. Working with the plan involves looking at your business the opposite way that most people do. Rather than look at the next quarter or the next year, you start with your core values that will survive forever, look forward fifteen or twenty years, and then work backwards from there.
Purpose: Taking a page from Jim Collins’ book Good to Great, start your planning by asking yourselves why you are here. In fifteen or twenty years, why will someone care about your business? This is a strategic question that paints the big picture for why you, your team, your employees, and your stakeholders will stay in the game for the long term.
Actions: What values define your business? What is your Big Hairy Audacious Goal (BHAG)? What actions will show that you are living your values and reaching for your BHAG?
Targets: Where do you want to be in 3-5 years? What markets are you in (your sandbox)? What is your measurable brand promise?
One Year Goals: What are your key one year revenue, profit, margin, and other key measures? What are the five key initiatives that you will achieve in the next year? What are one or two key productivity indicators that you will measure?
Quarterly Plan: What are the three to five rocks, those things you will chip away at all quarter? For each rock, who will be the single accountable person responsible for that rock? What are the key measures that will be tracked to insure that the whole company is on track?
Lots of good questions. Too bad so few management teams take a time out to stop and look at the strategic vision for their business. As I’ve seen over and over it can make the difference between poor or average performance and outstanding.