Welcome to 2018! For many, the start of each new year is an opportunity for a fresh beginning. New goals are set and former losses and short-comings are forgotten. The notion of a fresh start is important for all areas of a business’s mentality. The idea of a “clean slate” is powerful stuff. Yet, here’s the good news- most businesses aren’t actually starting from scratch. You’re beginning again. You’re starting a new fiscal year smarter, more informed, with more momentum, more awareness, and hopefully, more people are advocating for you now than ever before.
What if 2018 isn’t about abandoning what we’ve come to know and starting completely fresh? What if it’s about curating the confidence that we’ve built to date and taking it to the next level? What if we have all that we need to achieve our goals already, we just have to embrace what we have?
As leaders in companies, we must look at our own personal habits and attitudes about goal setting and achievement as it directly impacts the team surrounding you. Do you set goals? Do you talk about them? Do you write them down? Do you get buy-in from others? Do you revisit them? Do you keep yourself accountable? Or, do you set them and forget them? In working with many business owners, I find that it’s common for a goal to be set or stated - typically the goal or metric has been plucked from thin air and then when it’s not hit there are ample and seemingly justified reasons for why that goal wasn’t hit in the first place. I’m bothered by this.
In order for 2018 to be a new year and a new level for you and your business, here are some things to adhere to:
- Don’t set goals that you aren’t intent on hitting.
Less is more. Follow through is more important than the quantity. What gets your focus gets accomplished.Don’t over-complicate your life or your business with busyness.
- Don’t set goals that aren’t obtainable.
Many businesses have lofty revenue goals. Saying that you want to bring in X in 2018 and having a sales and marketing strategy to drum up the revenue is another thing. Also, if you were able to sell X could your team support what was sold? Everyone wants hockey stick growth, but few businesses are prepared to do what’s necessary to support that type of leap. Setting realistic goals starts by looking at realistic numbers and having tough conversations with your team about capacity, capability and career path.
- Don’t go it alone.
Whether you’re starting a fitness plan or merging two functioning teams into one, there will be bumps in the road. Be pre-emptive. Make sure that you have someone, or something in place, to bounce ideas off of when a curve ball is thrown. Remember, if the goal was worth setting- it’s worth doing what needs to be done to accomplish. Work through the complications, both known and unknown.
- Don’t set it and forget it.
In my world, people do this all the time. They pay us to build beautiful digital experiences and then they don’t do anything to support and maintain the experience. Efforts go wasted regularly. Don’t set a goal to pay it lip service. Set a goal to nurture the goal. Set monthly calendar reminders, and if possible, monthly metrics and touchpoints so that you’re better able to understand your progress. If you’re off track, you’ll need to adjust your plans.
Here are some powerful exercises to start out the year that Kicks completed as a team:
- Have each team member list some things that each other team member did best in 2017.
Then list some things that they’d like to see more of in 2018. This exercise encourages honesty and transparency.
- SWOT Analysis
(Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats)
- Individual Goal Setting
- Establish 1st Quarter Action Items
As you’re trying to help your team be more effective, here are some powerful tools that we can’t imagine parting with:
This is where work happens. Think AIM back in the day, but you can segment conversations between individuals, groups, projects, document and task sharing. It’s amazing, especially for the remote worker.
This is a task management system that helps prioritize and manage all of the tasks that we tackle on a daily basis. As you’re setting goals, schedule out tasks to help you tackle them.
This is a way for employers and leaders to consistently have a pulse on employee happiness and culture.
On behalf of the rest of the KDM Team, Happy New Year!