We recently asked our top executives to share their best tips for team goal setting and business planning.
Here are their responses…
John Schembury, Senior Education Executive
Review team performance data. What does the data say? Why is this important? What should we do next? To assist in this analysis, the team can review its organization’s mission, vision, and/or brand statement. After the team has decided on two or three major goals to focus on in its strategic plan, consider departmental—or organizational—strengths, opportunities, weaknesses, and threats. What strengths does the team currently have to meet these goals? How can the team capitalize on new opportunities to succeed? How does the team compensate for its weaknesses and minimize the potential impact of threats?
Next, consider milestones/benchmarks—data, artifacts/evidence, etc.—that determine progress toward each goal, clarify what the ultimate achievement of each goal is, define who is responsible for each goal, and time stamp each goal. will meet Goals should be Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Timely (SMART).
John Schembury Current K-12 teacher/school leader academic improvement coach and former school building and district administrator. He likes to draw, travel, swing dance and read non-fiction.
Kathleen Duffy, Founder, CEO and President of The Duffy Group
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We started planning for 2023 in August. Our session was facilitated by an outside consultant who sent our 2022 plan to all participants and asked us to look at SWOT. We met in person to update the SWOT; Critical strategic issues are identified from the “W” section and our strategic programs are developed to support critical issues. A work plan is created for each strategic initiative with target dates for completion; We meet monthly to review our progress—red, yellow, or green colored dashboard. We also reviewed and updated our three-year success metrics, such as company revenue, client retention, quality and efficiency, to share some of the metrics we collected.
Kathleen Duffy Founder, CEO and President of Duffy Group. The company’s vision is to elevate recruitment research as an alternative to spontaneous and retained search. Since its founding, Duffy Group has been a culture of remote workplace and work/life harmony.
Ana Smith, Talent Architect & Global Learning Strategist
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A very popular and effective goal-setting framework for teams is OKRs (Objectives and Key Results). They are an effective way to measure success not only at the planning but also at the team level. A shortcoming at the company level is when they try to apply OKRs at the individual level.
The complexity of setting individual OKRs usually results in goals that are neither indicative of meaningful progress nor easily gamified. Instead, individual contributors should be evaluated based on how well their work contributes to team goals that add real value to the company and its customers.
Objectives and Key Results, or OKRs, have become one of the most popular frameworks for teams looking to plan and measure the success of their work.
With this system, leaders at every level of the organization start by:
- Defining high-level, qualitative, motivational goals called “goals.”
- Defining who is the user of their team work and
- By determining behavioral changes, they hope to see them in users that can be used to gauge whether the team is achieving its high-level goals.
Anna Smith Helps individuals & organizations achieve their full talent potential by developing and co-creating people strategies and customized solutions and using coaching as a “red thread” to transform impactful results and collaborative relationships.
Michael Willis, Sports Business Operations Executive
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I believe every employee should know three things about the company they work for:
As we work as teams, our goals and business plans must align with the company’s goals. Everyone should strive for the same result.
Team-defined goals and objectives should be measurable. This is my favorite part. As part of the accounting/finance world, I invested heavily in the company’s annual budget. Budgeting provides an opportunity to develop metrics.
Ø Prior year actuals for current year budget
Ø Current year estimate from current year budget
I want to calendarize the budget. That means I spread the budget over 12 months. So I don’t have to wait until the end of the year to identify a problem or an opportunity. This type of analysis makes it possible to talk about something every month.
By capturing trends in your analytics, you can predict how you’re doing in real time and past performance.
Michael Willis 18+ years of experience working with accounting & sports organizations and managed $10M – $125M+ P&Ls with $3M-$50M+ budgets. He worked for the NFL for 22 1/2 years, working primarily on the financial/accounting side of the business with game officials.
Mark Taylor, Product & Operations Executive
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It seems reasonable to assume that the tsunamis that came our way in 2022 will not subside in 2023.
Setting goals and planning is futile—like holding one’s hand against the incoming tidal waves.
While planning is an attempt to manage overwhelm, a more effective practice is self-prioritization. Consider it an ongoing art to identify and understand what needs to be done right now—and make sure you stay half a step ahead.
Similarly, if setting a goal, ensuring that the company gets value from you, delivering your tasks on a timely, accurate, and complete basis—and presenting the results in an easily digestible form—addresses this need.
By the end of 2023, if you identify and deliver strongly on those tasks that the business deems important, you will be considered effective…
…and live to do it all over again in 2024.
Mark Taylor With 20+ years of risk, technology and product management experience working in global and regional financial services firms in the UK and US, he has managed 40+ teams, successfully resolved 100+ regulatory issues and saved companies $15M+.
Sarita Kincaid, Tech Media & Influencer Relations Executive
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The most important principle when creating goals is to always align them with the top business goals of your organization. These CEO-level goals are usually related to revenue and market share growth but may also be to some extent about brand, customer experience, or thought leadership.
Analysts and media relations professionals should always, especially in challenging economic times, ensure that their planning process begins with business goals, ensuring that the value they bring directly contributes to C-level priorities. If higher-level business goals are not cascaded through the organization, interview relevant C-level executives to find out what they want to achieve.
Rather than starting with organizational business goals as the guiding light of the planning process, I advise analyst relations professionals, in particular, not to set “quantifiable” goals. These are metrics related to the amount of outreach. Conducting 100 briefings per year is not significant if it does not lead to an increase in analyst awareness, an opportunity to recommend your company/product, or better positioning in landscape vendor reports.
More about best practices for a building Effective analyst relations planning.
Sarita Kincaid Tech Media Executive with demonstrated ability to create and grow award-winning programs. She brings a data-driven approach to influencer relationships with a focus on developing strong brand advocates and aligning them with sales programs.
Lisa Perry, Global Marketing Executive
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As the new year approaches, it’s time to set your business goals for 2023. Here are five things you can do before the new year.
1. Analyze Past Performance – Before developing your business goals, it is important to analyze past performance to determine the health of your business. The results help provide a snapshot of what’s happening in your business. Time spent analyzing, strategizing, collaborating, and building consensus is a valuable part of the process.
2. Set goals – 83 percent of the population has no goals. Fourteen percent had a plan in mind, but no goals written down, and 3% had written goals. 14% of people who have goals are 10 times more successful than those without goals. The 3% with written goals were three times more successful than the 14% with unwritten goals. source I recommend using a SMART or OKR framework. A SMART goal is specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and time-bound. OKR stands for “Objectives and Key Results”.
3. Align with company goals – Make sure your goals are aligned with the overall goals of the organization.
4. Priority – Now that you’ve developed your goals, it’s time to prioritize them based on their need, value, and importance. Allocate your resources, time and effort where it is most needed.
5. Track & Measure Results – Assess your progress toward your goals by tracking and measuring your results in a weekly or monthly review. See the progress you’ve made, the challenges you’ve faced, and what you need to change or do next. Most importantly, celebrate the wins!
Lisa Perry Helps companies build leadership brands, drive loyal customers and drive profitability. She does this through a process of creating brands that consumers love. Her mission is to help companies develop, monetize and grow their brands.
What are your best tips for team goal setting and business planning? Join the conversation inside Work It Daily Executive Program.