Many years ago, we were sitting in a meeting discussing targets for the next year.
“We’re never going to get there,” moaned one of my team. “The targets just seem so big and so far away.”
Sign up for SmartCompany newsletter.
Free to your inbox every weekday
I learned my lesson. Presenting people with targets for a year ahead really can be scary and, in a strange way, quite paralysing. The targets can look so unobtainable that people just aren’t willing to try.
However, presenting targets on a quarterly basis, with monthly targets sitting underneath, is a lot more palatable.
People can more easily grasp that what they do in the next few days, the next few weeks, the next few months can make a real and quite immediate difference to achieving the target.
Action plans are also more manageable on a quarterly basis – the three-month deadline provides a sense of urgency (that is, actions can’t be put off until later in the year); it also allows you to set out a program of smaller steps towards the bigger goal.
It’s a delicate balance of how much to tell and how much to keep to yourself, but scaring people never gets you far.
Get it done – today!