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Most successful businesses devote considerable time and energy to establishing annual strategic goals. So now that the goals have been set, what’s the secret to getting them accomplished? No doubt this is tough because the day-to-day, urgent tasks tend to push annual goals to the back burner.
The ironic fact is that most businesses know what they need to do, they just have trouble getting it done. The future of your business depends on selecting the right strategic goals and having the ability to execute them.
Here are the top 10 ways to accomplish your annual strategic goals.
1. Pick your best “A” players to accomplish the tough goals.
Without good leadership, organization, discipline, and accountability, your ability to execute goals will be severely limited. A lot of times this boils down to the shear energy and determination to make the goal happen.
2. Break down the tasks and get them scheduled.
Most worthwhile goals look daunting initially. However, if you break them down into manageable bites and plan out the steps you are more likely to get some early wins.
3. Select the right people (resources) and dedicate the necessary time and money to be successful.
The positive chemistry of the team selected is extremely important. Depending on the risk level of the goal, you will want to limit the naysayers from the group. It is very important that everyone believes upfront that there is a good probability that the goal can be accomplished. Senior management must also dedicate the appropriate hours and monies to accomplish the goal. Without dedicated time and money, the goal might be a great idea, but the effort will stall and frustrate the team.
4. Get an early win!
There is a fine balance between performing meaningful steps toward accomplishing the goal and keeping everyone motivated. The art is breaking down the goal so that the first few steps completed get the team excited. Enthusiasm is contagious and helps to break through tougher challenges down the road.
5. Consistent meetings and team accountability.
Most team members are excited to get started, but the questions they’re really asking themselves are, “How important is this project to my manager? Will he or she really hold me accountable or get busy on something else?”
The best scenario is the team members are accountable to each other rather than just the manager. As a manager, accountability goes hand-in-hand with consequences (both positive and negative). Ideally, you can use sugar and positive reinforcement in most cases; however, the manager must be comfortable administering negative consequences (penalties) to team members if they are not performing up to their capabilities.
6. Dig in and work at the goal!
It is amazing what can be accomplished if you really put your heart and soul into solving the problem. Roll up your sleeves and focus on the problem. Most all problems can be overcome and goals accomplished if you just work at them. There comes a point in time to quit talking about what to do, and just focus on getting it done.
7. Be ready for the inevitable push back and conflict.
A strong manager is passionate about what he or she is doing and is 100% committed to the merits of the goal to be accomplished. When push back or conflict pops up within the team (which it will), the manager must be a strong enough leader to address it head on in a professional manner. Generally, the team will respect the manager for his or her commitment and turn critical comments into problem-solving comments.
8. Have some fun!
Strong managers figure out unique ways to make the work fun and have everyone contribute. Although monetary incentives for goals can be helpful they are usually not the primary motivator. Recognition, freedom to create new products or processes, independence, and just genuinely enjoying your coworkers can often be the primary motivators. Celebrate the little successes. Create some goofy awards. Have some fun!
9. Manage failures to success.
Any tough goal will inevitably have some failures along the way. When failure occurs take it in stride, methodically dissect the problem and discuss lessons learned, and then get back to it with a better solution. Often times the quicker you fail, the quicker you learn and can ultimately accomplish the goal.
10. And yes… as Larry the Cable Guy says, just “Git R Done!”
Did I miss anything? If you have further suggestions for completing annual goals, feel free to comment below.