This one struck me as particularly helpful. I sure could have used this idea often.
Shared reality, shared goals
After reading Seth's post, I realized that I could have increased the odds of accomplishing these goals if I had shared them so that we were all aware of them and working to achieve them.
When it is just you working on the goal, you can only react after the fact to activity that is counterproductive to reaching the goal. If the goal is shared, you may not drift off course at all.
Here's a case in point. I always calculated how productive each person needed to be in order for the firm to be profitable. Being profitable meant we could afford new equipment and bonuses. Everyone likes new equipment and bonuses.
The ways that we drifted off course were pretty standard:
- We spent too much productive time completing a fixed-fee project (lack of focus)
- We spent too much time working on non-productive, general office stuff - like whole-firm meetings (focus on the wrong things)
- We didn't have enough project work for everyone (business development failure)
If we all agreed on the profitability goal; if we all agreed that meeting our individual productivity goals would achieve the profitability goal; and if we all agreed on how we were going to measure each person's productivity; then we would have a constant feedback loop that kept us close to our targets.
Nothing is more frustrating than coming to the realization that a goal is slipping away and there is no time to salvage it.
I should have shared how the goal was developed, what it meant for everyone, why the productivity goals were key, and how to measure your own productivity. We would have all been pulling in the same direction.
I know from the few occasions when we did something remotely like Seth's Shared Goals that the involvement of the whole firm was remarkable. People were promoting all kinds of things that would help to achieve the objective.
I think this idea is worth implementing as often as you conceive a goal.