Business & Executive Coaching

How Do My Goals Contribute To The Strategy?

Strategy and goals should influence everyone's behavior in the organization!
The work at the top of the organization in creating strategy and goals is intended to influence behavior that drives results. Unfortunately, it's not unusual for the primary impact of the work to remain at the senior management level. It's kind of like having a car with an engine and no wheels. Despite the importance of driving the strategy and goals deeper into the organization, the messages as to how the strategy relates to execution typically become unclear and confusing the further down they go.

Passing goals down without creating meaning causes frustration

The responsibility for creating clarity around what the strategy means at the business unit, team and individual levels, and for ensuring that the strategy is executed is a shared management responsibility.

There are many dynamics within fast paced changing organizations that contribute to the lack of alignment. However, the biggest obstacle appears to be "a lack of understanding." Why is this? Repeating the company strategy is easy enough, but without translating strategy into relatable actions with those who are expected to execute at every level of the organization, has limited impact. When managers involve people and teams they lead in these discussions, SMART goals can be written that connect everyone's contributions to the strategy. It also improves sustained commitment through the ability to measure ongoing results.

Planning backwards focuses on results

Managers can facilitate the process by asking three questions:

1. How does the strategy affect our unit?

2. What must we accomplish?

3. How will we accomplish it?

Through this process a shared language and framework for how to think and talk about alignment occurs among the team/department enabling them to match their behavior to a set of commonly understood goals and actions. To create focus on the truly critical goals to your team and the company, apply the following questions as a litmus test to each of the existing goals:

  • What is its economic impact?

Since meeting Norman in 1998 and having the luxury of working with him I have both flourished in my career and my personal life. Norman opened my eyes and made me aware of what was happening in my environment. He strengthened my leadership skills and boosted my confidence; as a result I have been promoted twice and recognized for executive training. Norman was able to quickly assess my business issue and using his many techniques would come up with the right solutions. As a result I was able to successfully rebuild two organizations focused on learning and development. Norman’s ability to quickly break down complex situations/issues and develop solutions is just amazing to me. I am grateful to have met and been coached by a highly skilled professional such as Norman. I continue to learn from him every time I converse with him. I do not believe I could have reached my potential today both personally and professionally without his guidance.

L. Ranieri,
Director Technical Operations

Executive Coaching & Consulting - Boston, MA

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