The Traps of Ineffective Goal Setting

Sarah, the business owner/CEO looked at her watch.  It was late on a Friday afternoon.  The company's strategic plan had just been released.  The plan had taken months to develop and she let out a deep breath of relief.  "Whew.I am glad we now have a strategic plan!" she said to herself.  But, then, it dawned on her:  the hardest part is what lies ahead-actually making the plan happen.  

Strategic plan execution requires the commitment and assistance of every employee, not only the business owner/CEO and her senior team.  CEO jawboning and baton waving may be useful at plan kick-off meetings and events, but are usually not effective in making the strategic plan actually happen.  

So why is Sarah nervous? 

We all know goal setting follows strategy.  To be successful, the strategic plan needs to be operationalized with specific goals being established, delegated and shared.  Sometimes this effort becomes too much of an individual sport and does not enroll the entire management team.  Perhaps you have you experienced dysfunctional examples like these:

Here are a few tips to minimize the chances these examples (or instances like them) happen again:

Following this recipe, a successful company will increase its odds in accomplishing its strategic, operations and process improvement goals. With the Strategic Plan as a backdrop, CEOs and business owners are responsible for ensuring the company‚Äôs goals (and their own) are achieved, on time and in line with expectations.