Small businesses, Charities, Blue Chips, even entire countries, are goal-oriented. The way it usually goes is that some visionary at the top defines the goal. It’s then cascaded down to ‘the people’ to make it happen.
As the goal leaves the sterile clarity of the boardroom and enters the chaos of the real world, things get tricky. With all it’s changing cultures, moving targets, shifting competitors, human customers, and other dynamic obstacles, the real world makes it difficult to achieve goals.
Smiley feedback devices like the Ombea ExpressPod are the perfect cure for this mess. Of course, we would say that, but hear us out while we make the case.
The standard way to achieve a goal is to:
- Break it down into smaller chunks.
- Delegate those chunks to the right people.
- Track the progress of each chunk.
Step 1 is where managers start using acronyms like SMART, KISS, SPRINT, CLEAR and more.
Step 2 is usually where the real work starts. It’s also where you see varying levels of cooperation or resistance from people as they adapt to the goals you’ve set. This is where employee engagement really matters!
Step 3 is where you see ‘analysis paralysis’, and this is where even more problems arise. It’s driven by the temptation to measure everything in the name of tracking progress. After all, ‘what gets measured gets done’. Simple numerical goals, such as revenue, are easier to deal with but the most unwieldy are the qualitative goals. An example is employee engagement. In the absence of a numerical measure you end up with multiple related stats in an attempt to make sense of what’s happening. It’s very common to end up with horribly complex report dashboards, followed by hours and hours and hours and hours of meetings poring over the raw data. It’s a terrible way to work and, most importantly, it is inefficient because it consumes headspace and time.
So how do you solve it?
What if you could express your progress against every goal as a single number, e.g. a score out of 100? Suddenly your dashboard becomes very easy to understand, with time being spent exploring pertinent questions rather than trudging through data. The clarity this would bring is similar to the clarity of the original goal.
“My business is too complicated! I need to measure all those different goals and I can’t possibly simplify my dashboard!”
Really? Maybe at this point it’s helpful to look at other examples from around the world, with a focus on those working under tough conditions.
British Airways employs 40,000 people and generates annual revenues of over £11bn. They have summarised their goal in three words: Global Premium Airline. They go on to turn everything into numbers that help them track progress.
Or take Saudi Arabia. That’s right, an entire kingdom. Their ‘Vision 2030’ statement sets out clear and concise goals on how they will win on the world stage. They’ve turned every goal in to a single number.
In a final example, let’s look at Walmart. Their ‘Aspirations for 2025’ include a section on ‘Community’ and, specifically, an aim to help relieve hunger. Again, they’ve turned a soft goal into a very specific number that they can either hit or miss. Either way, they’ll know for sure.
So, is it realistic for you? It’s easy to see how it works for numerical goals such as revenue, market share, or employee headcount. But what about qualitative goals like employee satisfaction or customer sentiment?
Well, that’s what Ombea ExpressPods do! They ask a question and deliver the results expressed as a continuous ‘Insights Index’ or Net Promoter Score®. They go even further by collecting qualitative feedback when you want it but, again, it’s all simplified ready for human consumption. In this way they not only belong in your business dashboard, they set the example for how it should be done.
Ombea provides leading solutions for capturing and analyzing real-time feedback. Governments, Fortune 100 corporations and top-rated universities across the globe use our solutions to visualize feedback, generate insight, and make evidence-based decisions. This helps them make their students smarter, their customers happier and their employees more engaged.