Establish a vision and strategy for your org

In this video, you will learn about:

  • Articulating the “what” and the “why” during the planning phase
  • Example goals
  • Scope of influence
In defining what you’re trying to achieve you’re really establishing a vision and strategy. Typically, an organization’s mission and vision don’t change on a regular basis, but organizational goals often shift based on a number of factors, including need to drive profitability, need to scale, competitive pressures, shifts in the market, and consumer preferences, just to name a few. Defining or refining these goals and why they’re important to the organization is a critical first step to goal setting. At this point in the planning process, we define the organizational goals for the current planning horizon, or the what and the why for the plan. Follow some key steps to ensure you define and communicate clear and measurable goals to your teams. Number one, define and express the end goal. Number two, collaborate around enterprise and organizational goals. Number three, align groups and teams to the strategy. We will go through each step in more depth in the following videos. It’s key to understand as you and your teams progress through these steps, that goal setting is all about scope of influence and accountability. Clearly assigning a designated responsible individual for each goal is as important as clearly defining the goal itself. Based on this individual scope of influence, the scope of work they oversee and manage, you will identify who will likely have cascaded goals downstream, and how far the targeted achievements should be segmented. -

Plan a cadence for regular check-ups and maintenance

Your cadence for planning ceremonies, activities, and monitoring is as important as the details of the plan itself. Modern planning is continuous and fluctuating. You should anticipate monitoring, reviewing, and adjusting along the way. Doing so allows you to course correct to align back to the desired outcome.

Alignment is dependent upon creating a culture that can let go of non-impactful work efforts. Oftentimes, our projects and their completion become our sole focus. Although we may drive the completion of work, this can lead to the ultimate failure of achieving the end goal because the work ceased being relevant to the original outcome.

A traditional cadence for a long-term/short-term planning cycle may be 12 months/3 months. Or it could be 6 months/1 month or something else.

Consider these concepts when determining the appropriate cadence for your organization.

  • In today’s business environment, internal and external factors are more volatile and change often. To address these factors strategically, reviews and adjustments of the shorter term objectives should be a minimum of every 3 months.

  • Each review should include time to reflect on past accomplishment and effort, and evaluate the business trajectory for the future. Ask yourself and your teams…are we still on track?

The following figure illustrates the relationship and cyclical nature of this cadence, between not only longer and shorter term goals, but longer and shorter term work efforts.

A graphic of a strategic execution cycle

  1. Long-term goals are typically broader enterprise or organizational objectives that will take 12 or more months to achieve. They’re not likely to be accomplished with singular work efforts. Most companies and organizations have a couple of tiers of these longer term goals at the top of the hierarchy that unite short-term objectives under a single, broad end goal.
  2. Long-term initiatives represent the high-level estimation of work effort that is mapped out to drive operations. These initiatives ultimately will be refined into more consumable work efforts (i.e., project, tasks, etc.). While these typically are longer work efforts, for example 12 or more months, in some cases these may be a grouping of several 6 or more month-long initiatives that correspond to the same outcome.
  3. Short-term goals are the goals set by your people and teams that align to more milestone-type outcomes. All of these segmented achievements contribute to the overall achievement of your enterprise or organizational long-term goals.
  4. Short-term projects refer to the more narrowly defined scope of work required to fulfill the short-term goals. These may either be one-off projects or projects that are a portion of a broader initiative.

Let’s take a minute to practice and apply what you’ve learned so far. Start by mapping out an initial set of goals for your team. You might have heard this referred to as cascading goals or a goal hierarchy. Notice how they all link back to the long-term goal and cascade from there. Don’t worry about being too definitive at this phase. This is your chance to get all your goals out on the table. We will refine these further as we go along.

A graphic of mapping outshort term and long term goals