Executive Goal Setting for 2014

Kathy Leck

Monday, March 17, 2014

The start of the year is a time of reflection for Managers to evaluate the overall performance of the organization against goals and benchmarks that have been established.  The innovative executive however is not spending too much time looking in the rear view mirror, but defining improvements and new goals for the upcoming year.

Unless your organization is content to achieve the same results as the previous year, strategic goal setting is an important investment in laying the architecture for the year ahead.  Without a plan and formalized goals, very little change can be expected.  Improving measurable results such as increased sales, market growth and brand communication require a definitive plan.  Can you visualize that plan and put it into action?

The Benefits of Formal Strategic Planning

When you are creating your strategic goals for the coming year, remember that the implementation and the vision for your organization has a trickle-down effect.  While Managers need to be included in the planning and execution of all strategic goals, there are a number of other benefits that are universal throughout the organization with a formal plan in place.  Everyone wants to be part of the success story.  Qualitative goal setting helps define the role of each employee in reaching that goal.

Clarification of Priorities and Increased Motivation

Employees benefit from a statement of organizational goals and an understanding of how their contribution impacts the overall strategic direction of the company.  Creating employee “buy-in” is essential, and making them aware of the goals helps to motivate their activities.  By engaging personnel at all levels you increase the probability of achieving results.   It also improves the sense of self-worth most employees feel when they are included and acknowledged as a valuable resource and member of the team.

Sounds simple right?  But that communication of organizational goals through all the ranks is something that most corporations and businesses need to improve and optimize for better results.

Create Measurability

How do you know if your organization or department is on track to achieve the strategic goals you have set?  Establishing benchmarks as part of your plan allows for a check-in and measurement of results on intervals that provide you with the opportunity to report on progress or suggest improvements.  If something isn’t working it can be changed promptly to place the organization back on track for achieving its annual goals.

When considering your annual plan, create opportunities to share the measurable benchmarks that have been reached by the team.  Providing a status report and acknowledgement to staff further motivates them to strive for continued success.

Lake Forest Graduate School of Management teaches you the core skills to develop strategic plans that motivate and inspire results.  We’ve made our MBA program accessible through two traditional portals (on campus instruction and distance learning) as well as an innovative three dimensional virtual environment for avatar based instruction.  Ask us how our graduate school of management can fit with your busy lifestyle and enroll in the professional development you need to advance your career in business management.

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Kathy Leck
Vice President, Corporate Learning Solutions


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