29 Apr Smart Goals Vs. Dumb Goals
Smart Goals Vs. Dumb Goals.
If you have ever been on a business course, you will probably have learned the principal of Smart Goals. Smart Goals are used as a framework to help a business owner to focus on the journey forward and to put some structure on how the end-point of the journey can be reached. The framework is as follows:
S – specific
M – measurable
A – achievable
R – realistic
T – time-bound
Specific simply means that you must focus on defined goals, rather than on wooly aspirations. You need to write each of the goals down and refine them so that they are meaningful for you and your business.
Measurable means that they must have a value that can be measured so that there cannot be any arguments about whether the goals have been achieved or not. For example, if one of your goals was to increase sales by 25%, then there can be no ambiguity as to whether you achieve the goal or not. At 26% you have beaten the goal whereas at 24% you have missed the goal.
Achievable means that you are not setting goals that are impossible to reach. This is particularly important when setting goals for employees. If you set a goal for a sales person to double sales in the next 12 months, this will only be reasonable in a fast growing market where you have put all the tools in place to allow the sales person to achieve this level of sales growth. In a slow growing market, and where you have not made any attempt to support your sales person with marketing and sales collateral, you are more likely to switch off the sales person rather than motivate him to achieve the goal you are setting for him. In simple terms, with everything being equal, the average employee or manager with the right tools should be able to achieve the goals you are setting for them.
Realistic is similar to achievable in that you cannot set lofty goals that nobody has a chance of reaching. It must be based on what has been achieved in the past and it will usually represent a reasonable step up from the previous level achieved.
Time- bound is really important. There is little point in setting a goal without deciding the timeframe within which it must be achieved. For example, you may set a goal to create a website for your business, but if you have not been specific about the proposed date to have it go live, then in all likelihood you will get to the end of the year and find that the website is still not ready. All goals must have an end date for delivery and, if possible, a person responsible for achieving it.
I recently attended a webinar with training Guru, Brendon Burchard, wherein he spoke about the evolution of smart goals into dumb goals. It is a little tongue in cheek but we can still learn from the model he is proposing.