Winning With Goals

Goals Boost Profitability

Just as goal setting is one of the most powerful tools for changing individual behaviours, and thereby results, the same is also true for a company. There is considerable evidence that organisations which have clear goals dramatically outperform those that do not. In their book "Beyond Entrepreneurship", Collins and Lazier described how those companies with stretch goals outperformed the others by a factor of ten to one.

There are several reasons why goals move everybody, from individuals to whole corporations, so powerfully towards success:

  • Without a clear purpose, vision, and goals people will often find themselves dissatisfied and demotivated, drifting with no clear sense of direction.
  • Without goals there is an overwhelming tendency to give up when the inevitable happens and something goes wrong. A goal provides the motivation necessary to grow and develop, finding a way to overcome the toughest of challenges.
  • Without the clarity and direction of a goal people generally experience constant uncertainty and indecision. When people are having problems making a decision it is usually because they don't have a clear enough target to aim for.
  • People or companies can become stuck after achieving a high level of success. This happens when they become afraid of losing what they have achieved, whether this is possessions, money, title, reputation, or any other external measure of success. They seek to replicate through processes, systems, etc., what they did in the past without recognising that what made them successful was to take risks, to change, to adapt and to be responsive (This was what happened to IBM in the late 1980s and early 90s). To replace this fear and overcome the block it is necessary for people to focus on the positive of what they desire instead of the threat of loss and this, once again, requires a goal.

Clearly, the creative definition of corporate goals is not just an exercise in goal setting, but a practical means by which to boost productivity.