Electronic Newsletter Issue 2005-11
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Goal setting, an important component of strategic planning, is often done at this time for the upcoming fiscal year. A good technique for developing future goals is to think creatively about where the organization needs to go in the future and how possible changes may affect the organization. Then review what was accomplished and learned in prior year(s) and consider how that may help in planning new or revised goals. Once goals are established and expected timeframe are assigned, give them another review before communicating them to the organization. In the review process consider: how these goals may be affected by environmental and economical issues, how people in the organization will be specifically accountable for the goals as they relate to most people's responsibilities, as well as how they may be able to measure them. Are the goals relevant to these people and can the goals be achieved based on this consideration? After deciding this, write the goals as clearly as possible to insure everyone in the organization can understand them and work towards achieving them.
Computer software can be helpful in tracking data on achievements towards goals, as well as graphically displaying this data. However, be sure to consider what affect technology may have on meeting the goals, not just tracking them. Many consider competition when setting goals, but forget to consider how use of current technology or lack of future technology may affect their ability to match or beat the competition.
Click here for step-by-step MS Office tips to help increase productivity and aid in achieving organizational or personal goals.
During goal setting, it is a good idea to not only brainstorm goals but to reflect on them and why they may or may not be successful. Using an activity known as "Sea Turtles" in a room clear of furniture can help with visualization of goals and success factors. In this activity paper plates, markers, colored paper, and newspaper or magazine articles are used. Before beginning the activity, gather headline articles on environmental or economical issues that may affect the organization and place those in various places on the floor. Then have each group member brainstorm a goal they would like to see, state it aloud a goal, and write it on a paper plate. Do this until no one can think of any more possible goals. Then have everyone write potential barriers to meeting these goals on sheets of colored paper. Scatter the colored papers and paper plates around the floor. Be sure to leave gaps between the paper plates and have them make a zigzag trail from one end of the room to the other. The floor will represent the sea of chaos and the paper plates are the backs of sea turtles.
The primary focus of the activity is to have members remain in contact with each other and their goals at all times. So have the group members form a line where each person has their arms linked with the the person in front of them and their hands on their own waist. Going from one end of the room to the other side, the group must use the turtles to cross the sea of chaos in the same order without loosing contact and without skipping a goal. No one must step on a barrier or issue along the way or they lose their next goal or that member becomes blindfolded. How the group makes it across and insures everyone steps on the same goals in the same order is up to them.
"A goal properly set is halfway reached." - Zig Ziglar
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Review comments below, regarding using an experienced facilitator in meetings.
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