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.”
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!