Goal Specifics Lead to Commitment

Committing to and achieving something becomes more of a reality when we state exactly what we want.  If I tell you I’m going to publish an RFP for a new software for the City or County, that’s not a very compelling goal.

But if I tell you I’m going to draft, approve and advertise the RFP by February 10th, that’s stronger.  The specifics drive me to act.

When we talk about goals in specific terms, we move to commitment.   Committing fully to goals is very important…otherwise, we wander around in vague generalities, move in spurts to the goal or worse, we never act.  You and your teams need to get used to stating goals in a very specific way.

But, we don’t want to only state the end goal.  Some goals take a long time to complete, like cleaning out a sewer system for maintenance.  That’s a large goal that takes a lot of time and processing to accomplish.

After the major goal is set, we must outline small near-term key results that help us move closer to the goal.  In the case of cleaning out the entire city sewer system for maintenance by December 31, we need to have shorter-term trackable key results like:

  • Test cleaning equipment to ensure it’s in working order by May 20.
  • Get refresher training on how to update the GIS system by June 1.
  • Meet with the team by June 20 and agree on what section(s) of the system to clean first.
  • Complete half of the first section of the system cleaning by July 15.
  • Complete the other half of the first section by July 31.
  • Report on findings for that section by August 10.

This level of detail in “key results” helps you define the exact next steps and it also invites input from the team.   Now, we can measure exactly where this project stands at any moment.

If we fall behind on any of these key results, the team leader can jump in, ask specific questions and help resolve the situation.

These key results should change each calendar quarter to reflect the near-term goals we want to achieve to move the big goal along.

The detail in goals and key results invites input, it commits us to specific action and it lays out a standard of success that we either meet, meet partially or don’t meet.

To learn more about clarifying, measuring and accomplishing strategic goals for your City or County, call (678) 833-4310 or email Bill Stark at bstark@innercomm.net.

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