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How To Set Goals For A Striking Start To 2019

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With 2019 just around the corner, it’s important not to lose sight of what’s ahead. Just as we have to make plans for the end of the year, we also have to start planning for the one to follow. I’m not talking about a complicated plan securely stored in the General Manager’s computer – but a simple plan to ensure that you know your businesses goals for 2019 to give them every chance of being met.
In the words of Benjamin Franklin, “If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail!”

But if you are worried about making the first step and don’t know how to approach a more basic plan, here is an idea to simplify your strategy planning for 2019 – What if 2019 was no different to a 90-minute football match that you were going to play?
Wondering how this question ended up in a professional blog? Let me explain.

The Goal
Every team, including my son’s under 10’s and my favourite team, Arsenal, know and understand what the goal of any match is – to get more goals than the opposition and win. It is a clear goal understood by everyone. Every pass, every run and every set-piece in the match has ‘a goal’ as the end goal.
So, as you approach a new year, you need to understand and be clear what your business goals are. Additionally you have to make sure everyone in your business knows and understands what they are. Only then, decisions, actions and projects will  be directed towards the ‘goal’.

The Team
Every football team is made up of members with different skills. There are strikers, midfielders, defenders and a goalkeeper, all of which have their own unique skills.  It is thanks to this diversity that they able to defend, attack, function, and more simply, play a match. Each player has their own objective but collectively, all of them have a common goal – to win the match. A striker has the mandate of scoring as many goals as possible, whereas the goalkeeper is responsible for blocking as many of the oppositions goals as possible. When combined, each players effort will equally contribute to the overall result. 

When looking forward, you need to make sure that you have all of the different skills needed for your business to succeed. A variety of complimenting skillsets is always helpful and you need to apply this to your business’s plan whilst reviewing each team member to make sure that their role objectives are clear. They need to understand the contribution they are going to make towards the final result as well as the contribution of their colleagues and other team members.

The Coach
While the match is taking place and the players are ‘in’ the game, the coach remains outside, calling out instructions, encouraging the team, and analysing their performance. It’s their job to find out what’s working and what’s not. The coach is not on the field playing, hence why they are able to observe how the team plays together and how each individual role is supporting the team as a whole.
Take a step back whilst planning and ask yourself if your business has managers and advisors that can offer a ‘coaches’ view of the business. And if yes, how well is their role defined and what can be done to improve their overall view of the business?

The Half-Time Break
No matter how good or bad the result is in soccer, there is always a half time break. The break is an opportune moment for the team to rest and for the coach to provide feedback and encouragement before tweaking their strategy and approach in order to get the results that they need. The break also allows the team to rest so that they are able to play the entire duration of the match.
Just like the players in a football team, the employees that make up your team will need to take breaks or have opportunities to reflect on their performance. Does your business plan for 2019 give your team the opportunity to periodically rest and review their progress? Has an adequate amount of time been set in place to redevelop your overall game plan?

The Full Time Whistle
In football, the match will always finish in 90 minutes.  No matter what, your team will have to score more goals than the opposition within that time frame as the opportunity to score more goals after doesn’t exist. So, during the match, with that end time in mind, the players must make every effort to score more goals than the opposition.
When setting your goals for next year, you need to consider what time restraints you have and when these goals should be achieved. Moreover, it is important to think how you will ensure your strategic projects will be completed on time without dragging on for extended periods.
Undeniably there are more similarities and lessons to be learnt; in fact, there’s enough to write a whole book.

So as 2019 approaches, do take the time to answer the following:

  1. Do you have clear goals set in place for 2019?
  2. Do you have the right team with the right skills to achieve it?
  3. Does your team know their own roles and objectives?
  4. Do those objectives contribute to the overall business goals that are being put in place?
  5. Who will keep an external eye on the performance of your team and the progress being made towards the goals?
  6. Are there scheduled breaks in place to refuel and resolve the plan?
  7. Do your team members have the right character traits needed to deal with uncertainty and any common challenges within your industry or business?
  8. Does the team know the period in which your goals have to be delivered?

While there are more detailed and proven methods to prepare annual plans, setting out the basics will help set clear intentions for you to focus on and will increase the positive attitude within your team. They will have a greater feeling of achievement as the year progresses. Follow these simple steps and you will be well on your way to a successful 2019. 

Written by
Shivendra Kumar
Shivendra Kumar is a highly regarded leader, known for delivering organizational transformation through innovation and process improvement. With a unique approach and inspirational leadership style that creates a culture of change in businesses, he develops organisational capability needed for both short and long term results. His blogs cover topics related to business improvement, metrics and innovation.