Welcome to our series on reframing goals. In these three articles, we share how our own process of setting and sharing goals has evolved, what we like about it so far, what stories we carry about meeting or missing goals, and why experiential goals are just as important as operational goals.
Our team has always set ambitious goals, but before last year, goals were largely individualized–each person set annual goals and monitored progress with their manager in our review process. There wasn’t anything wrong with how we were setting or meeting goals. In fact, we had an incredibly productive 2023, with new and redesigned offerings, a certification program for Human-Centered Practices, two new hires, a new website, and prep work for four new clients in 2024. By any measure, our goals were being met and exceeded.
But, as we always quote Erica Williams Simon to clients, “How you do the thing matters just as much as the thing you do.” Meeting goals was not our sole purpose or measure of success. Working toward them in alignment with our values was equally important.
When we looked more closely at our goals and goal-setting, one thing stood out.
We noticed that while we had a structure for setting goals with our supervisor, we were missing an opportunity for collaboration and co-creation, especially now that our team had grown by two more members in 2022.
To better align our goals with our values and commitments, here’s what we tried this year.
- The leadership team set ambitious organizational goals
- Jennifer set CEO goals to roll up to our organizational goals
- Each department and individual set goals to roll up our organizational goals
- Each person shared their operational and experiential goals with the team
- We shared and revised our goals with our supervisors
- We confirmed our goals during our Annual Evaluation Partnership Review Meeting
Here’s what we hope to gain over the coming year:
- Increased clarity about our own work and other departments
- Opportunities to ask for the support we need to meet our goals
- Knowledge of what our colleagues need from us to be successful
- Relationship building
- Enhanced sense of shared purpose
- Increased trust, which we need to take risks together
- Creative ideas on how to collaborate and contribute
Here’s what we like so far about the process:
- Planning for the process and structure to evolve.
- Letting ourselves overestimate how long goals will take to accomplish because we are human, life impacts our capacity and speed, and our goals may change.
- Letting go of perfectionism.
- Setting experiential goals–naming how we want to feel as we work toward our goals.
- Feeling connected to each other’s work and the organization.
- Centering our humanity, not our productivity.
- Partnering with the organization with autonomy.
We’d love to talk with you about how to create supportive goal-setting and goal-sharing structures in your organization. Contact our team at any time to talk more.