How to set-up and manage your teams goals in under an hour

Bringing goals to life

We’ve worked with hundreds of leaders to help accelerate growth. That means we’ve seen how goals come to life and well…how they die. There are some pretty common elements, but one of the central ones is the ability to bring your team goals to life.

PRE-WARNING: If you have ever dealt with software in organisations, people fall in love with the idea of buying and building a perfect solution. DON’T. We aren’t here for that. This is about high impact, low barrier implementation.

To do that, we love a product called Trello (it’s freemium, so no fee if you do it right). There are others like Monday.com, Asana, etc. Pick what suits you, but the approach still holds water.

Below is a visual of how I did this in a previous project (it has been de-identified to protect project integrity). I’ve repeated this with multiple teams and clients and it works unbelievably well.

InkedOKRs Annotated_LI.jpg

Top line goals

To get started, you need your top level goals. You can see on this one I left the headings for two: Grow Revenue and Make a Difference. Getting these headings right means people know where the team’s OKRs (or KPIs) are focused, painting a quick picture of the whole team’s focus.

Supporting goals

These are done on what Trello calls ‘cards’. You can see under Grow Revenue that there is a card called Monthly Revenue. These cards support the top line goal for the team.

Individual goals

Now the critical bit, working with each team member to set their individual goals. These are visually represented by cards that support the top line goals or by simply assigning them to one of the supporting goals. An example is that Monthly Revenue had all sales people attached to it since they drive revenue (sales). When you assign someone to a card, they get status notifications and their photo appears next to it so everyone can see who is assigned.

Bringing it to life

Here is the rub. You have to get the following parts right:

  1. Meet with individuals to have them co-create their goals. CO-CREATE. That means sharing the team objectives and getting them to figure out how they can help drive it. This fosters accountability.
  2. Update publicly. This isn’t about shaming, it’s about fostering support and accountability. That means each person should provide updates on their progress every week with real actions that they will / have taken.
  3. Update regularly. Make sure you review the actions and outcomes of these cards (goals) weekly. Yep, weekly. Anything less than that will see these slip.
  4. Revisit goals that continue to be missed. A goal keep getting missed? It needs to be discussed. It’s OK to take this offline, but the main point is that something is wrong if a goal keeps getting missed (the performance of the individual, the organisation, the goal, etc).
  5. Celebrate wins. Make a big deal out of wins. People should feel good about the work they do and wins should be celebrated.
  6. Do a major reset no less than quarterly. Consider what the business’s goals are for the next quarter, then revise your Trello board to reflect that. Don’t leave outdated goals bouncing around or the process will lose relevance.

Just start

You have the process and steps to transform how your team live and breath goals. The biggest barrier to smashing it is taking the action. It will take you less than an hour to get the first draft of this done. You then continue to evolve it every week and it becomes part of your DNA, bringing goals to life.

You’ve got this, now make it happen.

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