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4 Techniques For Turning Goals Into Wins

These tested techniques provide the right tools for making big goals into reality.

4 Techniques For Turning Goals Into Wins
[Photo: Flickr user Martin Fisch]

With proper methods virtually any goal can soon be turned into result.

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Merely an hour a day of proper planning can save you several hours of doing. How you spend your time is just as important as setting the right objectives and communicating them to your team.

But how can you get great results when you keep a hectic schedule?

It’s about mastering the demanding schedule of constant meetings, status updates, and follow-ups, and if all that isn’t challenging enough, you need to fulfill different expectations coming from various levels of the organization.

Each day should be a step towards the goal, even if it’s a miniscule step. In order to achieve great results, you need to set and clearly communicate them. According to a study from Dominican University, people who write down their goals are 42% more likely to achieve them. Clearly defined goals are one of the most impactful employee engagement drivers.

No doubt about it, there is a positive correlation between goal setting and achieving the desired performance. And although your gut feeling is definitely important, having good tools, organized processes, and methodologies are an immense help to turn those goals into wins.

Here are four steps billion-dollar businesses like Google, Skype, and LinkedIn implement that help them set and achieve those major goals.

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1. Make Sure Your Objectives Are SMART

Each goal you set should be specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and time-bound. Ever struggled to prove other departments in your company how they can benefit from your team activities?

Setting SMART objectives is a great way to show exactly how your activities will create and deliver value to customers, thus to the overall company.

Don’t treat the objectives merely as a list of tasks to accomplish, but as a clear standard that helps you measure the team’s success and progress.

2. Communicate Goals

After having set SMART goals, it’s time to communicate them to the team and make sure they won’t be forgotten. A great technique to use is Objectives and Key Results (OKR). Implemented first in 1970’s by the President of Intel Andy Grove and introduced to Google in 1999 by John Doerr, it’s spreading like a wildfire to many companies.

OKR is a popular technique for setting and communicating goals and then keeping them public in front of everyone. It consists of a list of objectives, and under each objective there are three to four key measurable results with progress indicator or score of 0 to 1.0 showing its achievement.

The main goal is to connect company, team, and personal objectives to measurable results, making everyone move together in right direction.

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3. Monitor Your Team’s Progress Towards The Goals Regularly

It’s not enough to have proper goals set and communicated throughout your department. To turn those goals into wins you need to plan regularly and monitor progress towards the objectives. Progress, plans, and problems (PPP) technique used by Skype and startup accelerator Seedcamp is a great way to do that.

PPP is a management technique for recurring status updates. The core idea is simple: During a specified period each team member reports about three to five key achievements, future goals, and current challenges. It’s a really simple way to figure out what’s happening in your team.

PPP communicates three essential facts: what has been achieved, what are your teammates going to do next, and what problems are they facing. It’s both informal and informative.

4. Take Time To Reflect And Keep On Going

The work doesn’t stop after you have established what might seem like a bulletproof plan. Chances are you’ll meet some unforeseen circumstances on your road to success. That’s okay. Don’t let the fear of failure stop you from achieving those goals.

Think about the next big step, engage your employees, but don’t forget to reflect on your activities. Take time to measure your performance and analyze how each plan and step has taken you closer to the overall goal. Adjust, make changes, and start over.

Turning goals into wins isn’t an easy job, but by establishing smart objectives and practicing management techniques already used by hugely successful businesses, it is possible.

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To get more insights how you can implement these techniques in your team, download the free eBook: Turning Objectives into Results.

Külli Koort is a fierce proponent of achieving more with less frenetic effort. That’s why she works at Weekdone, a startup that builds progress report software for managers who wish to gain more insights to their teams. You can connect with her on Twitter.

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