The Value of Goals
Goal setting—a part of efficient business management—is critical for business success. Research conducted by IDEO, the world’s leading innovation consulting firm, has revealed that businesses driven by clear goals potentially have a growth rate of 300% more than those enlisted in the S&P500 index. How can just setting a goal make such an impact?
THE IMPORTANCE OF GOALS Goal setting plays a critical role in communicating with internal and external stakeholders. External communication includes communication with customers and partners; for instance, goal setting would provide a clearer business context and understanding of how the business contributes value to the society, nation, or world; a good goal has to be measurable.
Internal communication includes communication with employees and shareholders, for instance. A good goal unlocks employees’ potential, brings about ownership, fosters self-improvement, and lets employees develop new skills and grow alongside the organization—being capable of delivering value from goal achievement. Therefore, the goal shouldn’t be set too high—which may garner discouragement—or too low—which can be deemed unchallenging. For the reasons mentioned above, goal setting is of great importance. However, some organizations have enacted a policy for regular executive replacement (by term), making goal-setting insufficient. However, this should also be publicly announced to minimize the risk of goal and direction change and keep the organization on track toward a linear, unchanged goal to prevent slow business growth and uncompetitive disadvantages. PATH TOWARDS GOAL: SILO VS SILO-LESS
As the business has a defined set of goals, the next step is to move towards its achievements. To do so, a company must build a growth mindset among its employees. A growth mindset is a mindset that embraces change and leads to new learning opportunities. Therefore, employees shouldn’t focus only on their assigned tasks (Silo). For instance, a sales team that focuses solely on sales, an HR team that focuses strictly on HRM, or an accounting team that focuses exclusively on finance. These would create a gap from lacking an overview of the bigger picture; as one team failed to achieve its departmental goal, other groups can’t help and drive achievement towards organizational goals. This approach harms work efficiency, preventing the business from fully achieving its goals. A mentality focusing only on delivering one’s work would form a silo. This wouldn’t only affect the company in terms of goal achievement but also constitute a discouraging work environment that may generate employee burnout, debilitating the organization in the long run.
On the other hand, the employee should adopt a mindset that doesn’t only adhere to one’s responsibilities but also from a broad perspective. While also doing what’s needed to achieve business goals (Siloless), including operating as a working or cross-functional team. When one person spots a potential risk or effect on the organization, that person will seek a solution without concern about which team or department should be responsible for the person. For example, a sales team might focus only on generating sales without considering whether the HR team has provided sufficient sales training support to create efficient sales processes. As a result, the sales team might underachieve the sales target; however, if the sales team adopted a siloless mindset and initiated a knowledge sharing or training session, this could help the team achieve the objective better. Thus, with the silos mentality removed, there would be plenty of room for business growth. Ultimately, a goal acts as a compass that provides a clear direction. However, working under a siloless mentality is only one part of the process. Following that compass, having the right mindset, analyzing and shifting your thoughts from ‘is this my job?’ to “if I do it, will it benefit the organization?’ These changes are what will ultimately lead the business toward its objectives.
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