Schlagwort-Archive: Goals

What makes a result good?

After the transition of the professional world due to the knowledge and service society as well as the shift of simple tasks to overseas, more and more employees are again providing one stop tasks. They do not only have to perform subtasks, but deliver results.

  • They develop new concepts.
  • They manufacture a complete product.
  • They distribute their products in a certain region.
  • They take the responsibility for a complete operational sequence.

These activities need a good understanding of the deliverables that have to be created. For this reason, it is important that you realize what makes a result good.

Ergebnis

It does not matter, in which field the results are needed. Common to all goals are expectations and the publication that the goals and expectations are met.

  • Fulfilled goals
    Goals are attainable places or conditions, which describe the requirements for results and induce the necessary changes at a certain point in time. The goals are negotiated at the beginning of an initiative between clients and contractors. Above all, contractors should ensure that they can deliver the required deliverables. Eventually, it is crucial to meet the goals.
  • Fulfilled expectations
    The expectations are goals that are substantially more difficult to grasp, since they are rarely formally defined – if at all. It is a matter of the acts that the expecting people hope for, certain results that they wish for or the consequences that result from the initiative. In order to know these expectations, it is essential to ask the stakeholders. On this occasion, expectations can be adjusted or taken into account within the planning. Eventually, it is important to fulfill at least the recognized expectations.
  • And everybody knows it
    It is not sufficient to deliver the agreed achievements. At the same time, you should worry about the fact that everybody, it means the concerned public, are informed. Eventually, the best results are those, who are recognized.

In order to get good results, the following aspects should to be considered.

  • Making goals SMART
    Understandable results that are free from ambiguities facilitate the fulfillment (see also: Smartifikation).
  • Consider stakeholders
    After getting an overview of the stakeholders, personal conversations provide clarity concerning their expectations.
  • Keeping everybody up to date with a Complan
    The right time to create a communication plan is already at the beginning of an activity. The measures should take place during the execution and especially in the end.

Bottom line: Good results consist of technical outcomes that were described with smart goals, as well as satisfied stakeholders and an open information policy.

Only achievable goals are pursued

The world record in high jump since 1993 is 2.45 m. The gold medal in high jump at the last Olympics in London got Iwan Uchow for 2.38 m. Goals are constantly in motion. The best of the best are constantly determined on different levels. The winners simply jump higher than the competition. In everyday business the goals also have to be adapted to the circumstances. Only achievable goals are pursued.

Hochsprungbw

The intentions are always more or less challenging. It is always valid that as soon as they are fixed, they constitute the framework for everybody. The one, who sets the targets, expect that the tasks are mastered and that the area gets the appropriate advantages. The others, who have the appropriate capabilities, exert in such a way that they fulfill tasks in the expected quality with as little expenditure as possible. Naturally, initiators have larger expectations, than the providers can deliver. And the performers have a smaller drive than those, who pursue general goals. How can you find the height of the bar for any goal?

  1. One could leave it to the orderer, on which height the goal has to be set up. They know what they want to accomplish and what is required. Thus, the goal would fit the interests of the enterprise, but the feasibility would be questionable.
  2. One could leave the height of the bar to the fulfillers. They know best their abilities. Thus, their goal would be probably feasible, but the intended effect would be uncertain.
  3. The performers and the client could negotiate. Then the bar would be not unrealistically high, not uselessly low and ideally beneficial for both parties.

In reality it becomes difficult, since these negotiations are affected by aspects that have nothing to do with the actual goals.

  1. The clients pursue further interests apart from the goals that are negotiated. They must, for example, guarantee the viability of the enterprise and its future. For this purpose deliverables have to be done that guarantee the incomes for covering the current expenses and the development of the offerings. Not to forget their own remuneration. This leads quickly to excessive expectations and objectives.
  2. Even the performers have an additional agenda. They want to keep the balance between work and life. The family, friends and personal interests require time and attention, which thereby lack for the work. This only works, if they optimize their performance in such a way that the own contractual liabilities are not over-fulfilled. This leads quickly to a more modest personal dedication, than the abilities would allow.

The golden mean is the negotiation of the performance agreement on level playing field. The clients can explain their point of view as well as inspire and convince the employees with appropriate prospects. At the same time the performers can address their doubts and adjust the exaggerated requirements. Both parties have the opportunity to better understand the other and to adjust their own claims. The results are realistic client expectations and the genuine employee commitment through their work-life balance.

In order to obtain results effectively, both parties must say farewell to old behaviors. It requires on the one side executives, who have business gut feeling, clear goals and responsibility for the well-being of the employees. But on the other side are employees needed, who understand that their achievements represent the basis for the monthly salary flow and require entrepreneurship, who do not sit-out their work time but dedicate their attention committedly to the enterprise. As soon as one of the two sides loses the well-being of the enterprise out of their sight, the danger exists that the ship sinks, in which everybody is sitting.

Bottom line: The right height of the bar should not be too high or too low, since in both cases evolve disadvantages for the enterprise. The two parties rarely have the overview. Therefore it is indispensable to negotiate the height of the bar. That way, it is guaranteed that the desired outcomes take place. Pre-requisites are reasonable, committed executives and employees, who trust each other. You should never forget that only achievable goals are pursued.

Where do I want to go?

The longer an enterprise exists, the more with difficult it is to maintain the enthusiasm. An impressive illustration of the direction and the goals produces the necessary energy to keep the momentum during the activity. This is valid for teams and particularly for each person – inclusive oneself. This direction can be more or less extensively prepared as a text, a metaphor or an image. Remember the following visions:

  • … before this decade is out, of landing a man on the Moon and returning him safely to the Earth? (J.F. Kennedy)
  • … a computer in each household? (Bill Gates)
  • … ideas worth spreading? (Chris Anderson)

These future pictures from the past are already accomplished. In order to make this happen, it needs many people and much time. The direction becomes tangible by defining the strategy (where you want to go) and motivates the involved people to take part during a longer period.

Strategie03Miss

The following parts provide the comprehensive picture of the future.

  • Vision
    Through the easily conceivable picture of the desired future, the vision, the creativity of the involved people becomes stimulated and creates momentum that prevails for a long time. At best it affects, if it is described in a way, as if it already would be reality.
  • Mission
    The general assignment, the mission, includes the expectations of the decision makers. The mission produces a view of target states similar to the vision. Additionally, it contains the expectations of the leadership team with their assumptions and a consistent explanation, including what should be done, for whom, and what it makes special.
  • Influence factors
    The description of the influence factors (i.e. the critical success factors, the favored value discipline as well as the strengths, the weaknesses, opportunities and risks) shows the involved people the external framework that should be expected during the realization.
  • Strategic direction
    The generally targeted trends create focus for the people involved. It enables them to bring in their competencies. For example, the will to grow or shrink explains additionally, what is intended to be reached, see here.
  • Strategic goals
    The strategic goals are the framework for breaking down the aims. At the same time, it shows a compact overview of the intentions. Make sure that the highest level covers the entire topic.
  • Strategic core
    In the future the core competencies, the core processes and core deliverables become more and more important, since overarching cooperation’s take place more frequently in different constellations (e.g. across locations or enterprises). Clarify the substantial abilities for your deliverables. Limit yourself on those aspects that you actually need for your value creation. Last but not least it is important to assign the products and services that have to be produced to each unit or person.

Bottom line: In times, when everything is possible, it is important to determine your own future. The strategy, described as clear as possible, is the pre-requisite for the ever more frequent cooperation in various groupings. It ensures that all people pull the rope in one direction and at the same time that only a few friction losses arise from conflicts or misunderstandings.

Same series:

Who am I?

What do I do?

Real leaders

Even if the society, the economy or the enterprise are blamed for drawbacks, it is always people, who are creating, not necessarily conscious, negative circumstances. Examples are the leaders. The behavior of highly paid superiors is frequently copied by the employees. Since the fish stinks from the head, the negative properties are mainly conveyed.

  • Missing authority of the boss’s results in long-winded decision making.
  • Postponing decisions paralyses progress.
  • Missing goals create contradictory activities.
  • Blindness and deafness to the feedbacks of the employees result in a loss of confidence.

As a consequence, incongruent leadership style undermines the authority and prevents results.

Führungskraft

The employees are asked in the course of the introduction of Entrepreneurship to think and act like an enterpriser. At the same time the leadership positions are reduced to simple steps on the career ladders. The actual task of management goes in this case by the board. Employees have to fill out the role of an ‚executive’ faster than ever before, without being in the position to develop the following characteristics.

  • Power
    The takeover of a team leader position suggests that thereby the necessary power and sufficient resources are automatically available. On the one hand the purely formal transfer of power is not enough in times of increasing employee participation, in order to exert influence as well as to get acceptance and commitment from the employees. On the other hand the higher leadership levels keep the control of the planning and the budgets. Top managers decide nowadays the smallest activities and expenditures personally. For middle management only remains the title.
  • Decisiveness
    An important function of bosses it is to seize the take decisions that cannot be decided on the subordinated level. In the scope of responsibility goals should be specified that fit within the superordinate frameworks. Additionally, alternatives have to be selected, the application of resources controlled, social conflicts dissolved as well as the fundamental structure of the job positions and the procedures defined. In order to fill out the role, the executives need decisiveness. This requires decisions that are made timely and conclusive.
  • Goals
    The published plans are the basis for the staff and the other participants. The goals must fit into the big picture, but they should leave enough flexibility for the activities of the employees. Therefore the executives must make the overview available that shows the direction to the operational activities. Leaders are the specialists for the political aspects, the control of the area, the availability of the relevant information and for the control of cooperation.
  • Attentiveness
    The most important ability of the top management is the attention that is used to observe the occurrences – particularly the observation of the relationships between the employees, between employees and customers as well as between employees and suppliers. They provide the basis for the improvement measures of co-operation. Since these social aspects mostly happen on an unconscious, subliminal level, it needs a lot of instinct based on experience.
  • Style
    There is not the one, right style of leadership, but different approaches that depend on the country-specific culture, the role models of the enterprise and the personality of the leader. This might be authoritarian, democratic or liberal leadership approaches and/or any mixture of the three. It is crucial that the selected style is constantly used. The employees receive thereby an example for their orientation.

You can see in large companies more and more that the executives have promising titles, but do not show in everyday business the above characteristics. This explains the search for trainings concerning charisma, acceptance and commitment. They should enforce the self-confidence of the responsible people. Unfortunately decisiveness does not evolve, if decisions are always made on the superior levels. The ever more evolving micro management results at the same time in the fact that subordinated executives do not reflect any more about strategy, goals and activities in their responsibility. Since guidance in its actual sense does not take place, the question about the personal style of leadership will one day not appear any more, since the high-level executive is lowered to the role of a messenger of the superordinate levels.

Bottom line: The middle management mutate into highly paid employees, who

  • do not have the previous authority,
  • actually don’t need decisiveness,
  • have modest room for acting,
  • distribute only insensitively orders and
  • do not unfold a personal style.

In principle, these are good basic conditions in order to create lean structures. Unfortunately the enterprises undermine these approaches, by proclaiming flat structures. At the same time they create hierarchies that subordinate one executive to another of the same level. Formally, there will be fewer levels, than expected. The resulting ‘kings without land’, who, without budget and power, are not allowed to make their own decisions, turn into shadows of real leaders.

Distributed leadership shares knowledge

The right decision needs the right understanding of the situation at the right time. Executives secured their claim to power for a long time based on the maxim „Knowledge is power “. Since in the past twenty years the Business processes, the IT and the organization were effectively streamlined, further progress can only be carried out by each individual. For this purpose, the employees receive in their role defined tasks, with the necessary authority and, in addition, the responsibility for the results. The prerequisite for this form of distributed leadership is openness through sharing the existing knowledge.

Wissen

In order to facilitate the decision making for the employees and in the interest of the joint goals, the access to the following information has to be guaranteed.

  • The context of the enterprise needs the overview of the corporate sites (incl. contact partners and local information of all kinds), the description of the market (incl. understandable market indicators and news) as well as the important internal and external stakeholders (e.g. suppliers, partners, and customers).
  • The products and services, competencies and processes that define essentially the business build together the strategic core. Thus, the employees can align their doing more easily to the value-adding functions.
  • The strategic and operational goals as well as key figures (incl. historical revenue and sales data, successes and difficulties, HR evaluation criterions) are the pre-requisites for a coordinated, successful goal achievement.
  • The description of the values, the rules and the escalation procedures shape the corporate culture.
  • The barrier-free access to all other databases (e.g. projects, products, procedures) avoids disturbing delays and reduces wasteful friction losses.

Bottom line: Enterprises cannot afford any longer to concede individuals any kind of knowledge lead. All have to be in the position to decide at any time that it is favorable for the enterprise as a whole. One of the most important pre-requisites is the equal access to ALL information. The only exception is information that is classified as secret.

The concept is feasible, if it functions comprehensibly

In art and entertainment, you can find formats that are based on improvisation. Action Painting, Jazz, Improvisational theater or talk shows offer a simple framework where the participants create results that are not previously planned in detail. In the construction of buildings, the programming of IT-applications or the foundation of an enterprise, a more extensive preparation is indispensable. The various parts are developed in relationship to one another. They are supposed to fit eventually as planned. One of the leadership tasks is it to ensure a consistent concept, besides the self-management, the coordination, the communication and cooperation. At best, one starts with a short description that shows that the intention is logically feasible.

Konzeption

In this first sketch, the following four aspects should be described in a way that one can decide, whether the effort of a detailed concept is worth it.

  • Goals
    This is to describe the desired target state as goals – the main goal and the corresponding sub goals. They should be formulated in a way that also outsiders understand the project.
  • Premises
    Thepremises describe the conditions that have to be fulfilled, in order to realize the project. This includes the required number of employees, the needed financial means, the necessary infrastructure (i.e the hard and software, spaces and media of all kinds) as well as the crucial skills and knowledge.
  • Results
    Theresults are always products and/or services. Products are split into expendable or durable goods. Services are person- or object-related. At this point, the understandable, complete list is better than results that are described in detail. In later preparation, the individual results are specified in more detail.
  • Explanation
    Theexplanations should further clarify the project to the reader. The vision and the mission obtain thereby the purpose of the plan. The listing of the substantial functions and processes convey the way, how the individual elements work with each other. The history and additional interesting information complete the picture. The explanations should be limited to those aspects that clarify the project and be formulated short and simple.

The biggest challenges in describing the concept are the determination of the length and the level of detail that should be prepared at this point of time, at the beginning of the process. Since the size of a project differs very much, there is no clear answer about the number of pages or other key figures. As rule of thumb, consider the following:

  • Outline as extensive, as necessary for understanding.
  • Describe as detailed, as necessary for the current decision.
  • Invest as little time, as possible.
  • Illustrate always goals, premises, results and explanations, as clearly as possible.

Eventually, you should be able to say: The concept is feasible, if it functions comprehensibly.

Without strategy, it is not Your future

The strategy is the effort to design the future according to your own intentions. It is not about foretelling the future but to make the circumstances of the own business more tangible for in five to ten years. The future is not a fate that you have to suffer, but the consequence of actions that you accomplish here and now. If you leave the organization of the future to the competition, then it is their future.

Strategie02

Who remembers that many of today’s available technologies were already introduced more than forty years ago in the TV show Star Trek. Today, many people carry a more efficient mobile phone, use translation software and let the computer read out texts. If we move this from yesterday to today, then we can assume that the solutions of tomorrow are already available.

On this basis, you develop the future for your enterprise or your area of responsibility. The following aspects are important for this purpose.

  • How do you imagine your future?
  • What are the factors that you should consider on the way into the future?
  • What kind of development do you want to strive for?
  • What are the primary goals?
  • Which elements of your abilities and processes as well as products and services are parts of your core elements?

Eventually, you have a consistent picture that you use to clearly explain your necessary activities to yourself, to your employees, to your partners as well as to the public.

Bottom line: Your future has already begun. If want it to be your future, then you must start today to develop it. The strategy model is the tool that you use to prepare your future.

Videos:

The strategy in a nutshell: http://ow.ly/wsIES

Potential application areas: http://ow.ly/wsJ7Q