Why do people or businesses fail? Despite putting in so much efforts and commitments to their goals, why is that they sometimes fall short of expectations, and may not be able to keep up with current competition? The reason is simple: goal setting goes beyond a set of written down notes indicating the particular direction of an individual or business entity. Goal setting involves commitment to a certain set of principles, and at the center of that is CHANGE.
Ever heard of this common saying by Heraclitus that, “the only thing that is constant in is change?” That saying could not be truer, especially in this day and age. People who resist change, and are inflexible in their decision making abilities, may not be able to get ahead of the competition. In fact they risk being overrun by other ambitious groups or entities, if they do not develop a culture of embracing new information or strategies.
Every organization or business entity often develops their vision statement, which is what they hope to become, or where they hope to get to, sometime in the future. And goals are the several little pieces that add up together, to make that vision a reality.
While setting goals, in addition to making sure they are SMART, they should also not be totally “set-in-stone.” There must be room for adjustments. There must be room for changes or improvements, because market situations always change, and so are business strategies. The fact that my grandfather who started the company 50 years ago did things in a certain way, doesn’t mean that things have to be done in that same way in present day 21st Century.
While some corporations may pride themselves as being innovators or trailblazers in bringing new information to the market, in reality, that may not be exactly the case. Many people, including organizations, apart from dancing around embracing change, actually find it difficult to implement change.
Generally, the human nature is predicated on certainty; we all dread uncertainties, and the effects that it could bring. However, if you really want to get ahead of the competition, then you may consider doing these:
- Define the problem tree. What is the pain you are trying to address and what strategies do you have available to you to address them? Go for the smarter options, after of course conducting a thorough cost-benefit analysis.
- Make sure your goals are S.M.A.R.T. Do not set goals for the fun of setting goals, but you should rather set goals that are realistic, and one you would be willing or equipped to follow through on. In order to improve the sustainability of your set goal, it should be specific, measurable, achievable, results focused and time bound.
- Make sure you have “check-in” time points to assess what you are doing, with measurable indicators, and if you are not meeting up with expectations, you may consider changing your strategy.
- Go back to the drawing board, and re-evaluate your strategies to see if there is a smarter approach to address that pain, or if you can come up with other problems in the tree that may be more realistic to address.
- Hire an expert if need be, and that includes doing your own research from all the information you have available to you on the internet. Sometimes, even after doing a thorough problem tree or cost-benefit analysis, you may not be getting the desired result you want. Even after you have employed all possible suggestions or tips available to you on the internet, there may be no significant changes. Once you get to that point, it may be time to get some expert opinions. Let the experts do their thing, and give you the competitive advantage you need to get you ahead of the rest.
In wrapping this up, with so much competition around today, you do not want to set visionless goals, but actually goals that are SMART, with the potential to give you a competitive advantage. Getting to this point entails the openness to embracing and actually implementing change. Keep pushing!
To your continued success. Cheers!!!