Now is the perfect time to set new goals for your business. Looking back at the year behind us, most of us were caught off guard and many goals failed to be met. Still, setting goals is one of the most important steps when creating any kind of strategy. So let’s see what to focus on when setting goals, and make sure we are one step closer to attaining them.
Pinpoint your current position
First things first, you must see where you are right now. You have plenty of analysis, methods and tools you can use to define your current position/situation. Maybe the most convenient one for a quick check-up is the SWOT analysis. The acronyms stand for Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats, and that is exactly what you are supposed to identify. This will give you a better insight into which areas of the business to focus on, and which ones to avoid or work on to strengthen them. You can always mix and match a couple of different approaches to get a better picture of your position. You could also include Benchmarking in order to compare your business with the market leader. This will provide you with yet another angle.
Where do you want to be in a year’s time?
Once you’ve figured out your starting position, the next step is to decide where you want to be in a year’s time. What is the end result you’d like to achieve? This will represent your future position and make it easier to focus everything and sync all actions into getting there. Once you set your goals, it will be easier to figure out what are all the actions needed for each one. Creating an action plan which is time-bound is necessary. Besides that, identifying resources for each step is also a must. All of this will give you an outline for achieving your goals and closing the gap between your current and future position. And do have in mind that now is the time to set goals regarding many areas of your business: increase customer satisfaction, increase profit, cut costs on utilities, boost employees’ happiness, boost productivity, use new technologies, and so on. It is important that all these different goals are in line with your business’s mission and vision, and that yo do not have opposing goals.
Another acronym meaning Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Time-Bound goals. All the characteristics a goal should have. By creating SMART goals, it will be easier for you to track progress and improve your chances of achieving them.
Specific – Get to the point. Make sure that they are clear to understand, well-defined in every aspect, and make no room for confusion. Maybe even describe them more so that everyone can understand them. A good guide is the 5W questions: Who, What, Where, Which, Why?
Measurable – You need to track progress, and that is impossible if the kind of goal you’ve set is unmeasurable. Depending on the goal, your KPIs will vary. But it is of the essence that you set criteria by which you will keep track of them.
Attainable – Try not to get ahead of yourself- stay realistic. Your goals should be relevant to your business and be achievable.
Relevant – This means that your goals should be aligned with your mission and vision; that your goals have a meaning to you and your business and also that other people from your team can relate to them, making sure that you are doing the right thing, using the right resources, at the right time…
Time-Bound – Create a defined time-line. Once you’ve figured out what your goals are, and which actions you need to take in order to attain them, set a timeline for each action, and a deadline as well. By doing so, you will make sure to avoid procrastination and make sure that everything is running on time.
Once you’ve set your goals, prioritize them. Identify which are your key focus areas. Some goals are more important than others. Make sure that you manage your resources efficiently as well so that all your goals can be attained. And then, commit! Not only should you be committed as a manager, or leader, but you must also motivate your team and create a strong communication channel. Information should flow through your organization and you must be sure to obtain all necessary data and feedback to keep track of the progress. Another helpful thing to do is set milestones along the timeline, with small check-ups every once in a while. And once your goals have been reached - congratulations! But remember to reward your team members for their effort and collaboration. They will be motivated even more on their next assignments and will feel appreciated because you took the time to acknowledge their part in this success.
One thing we’ve all learned this year was that sometimes even the best planning falls short. So don’t be too rigid about your goals. Stay a bit flexible because you never know what unexpected events might occur. Create a back-up plan or at least be ready to respond on time. Agility and adaptability are on top of the “Most required skills” list.
How can Innovation Cloud help you reach your goals?
Besides assisting you throughout the whole innovation process, our user-friendly design will make your lives easier. The very design of the platform encourages collaboration and communication and makes sure that everyone’s voice is heard and that ideas are shared. Next, is the phase-gate approach which ensures that you don’t waste time and resources on anything. This means that you will be able to act timely if you detect certain digression from your set objectives. It is more than a set of simple milestones – this approach represents a more thorough insight into your progress, and at the same being very easy-to-use.
Thanks to extensive reporting capabilities, we make sure to provide you with real-time data so that you can keep track of all of your KPIs. Innovation Cloud can be compatible with any ERP software you might be using, and this means even more detailed data to help you make well-educated decisions at any moment.
Innovation Cloud is more than an innovation platform! It is a solution to all of your innovation challenges!