How to actually achieve your company's goals in five easy steps

Every January, it seems like the coaching and training world gets really excited about the importance of setting meaningful and achievable goals. Whilst, I’m not going to disagree with the importance of goal-setting, I believe that it is more important to actually achieve your goals. Take a moment to reflect, how many times have you set business or personal goals which you lose interest or focus in, after a couple of months have passed? As a business owner, it is your role to keep your organisation focused and energised on working towards your vision.

My question is, how do you make sure your organisation actually achieves the goals, it has set itself?

Firstly, you have to have some goals set to achieve. Now you are going to look at me and say, ‘yes, stupid, of course we have them’. What I want you to honestly answer is whether your goals for the organisation have been cascaded down your organisation. I.e. is everyone within your business is targeted to working towards the goals of the organisation? If I were to talk with your employees could they tell me what their personal goals are, and how these will help the company achieve its goals?

For goals to be achieved, they need to be visible for everyone within your company. I’m not talking about the big fanfare that you may have started when you set the annual goals for the organisation. I’m talking about the day-in-day-out visibility that these goals need. Do you have visual reminders for staff about the organisation’s goals? Are your line managers regularly sitting down with their team and direct reports and talking about the individual, team, departmental and company progress against these goals? In your regular updates to your staff are you talking about company progress against these goals? More often than not, team and individual goals and objectives get written on a piece of paper and stuck in a drawer getting dusty, until the next annual performance review. (And, that’s if your organisation actually does them!)

The only thing you can rely on in this funny old business world is uncertainty. Far too many companies go through an annual goal-setting process, and then tenaciously stick to these goals for the next twelve months, regardless of market or trading conditions. Goals are made to be re-set and re-assessed as you go through the year. Whilst, I’m not advocating resetting your goals every week, it’s worth looking at your company’s goals quarterly and when your results and evidence suggests it, re-adjusting these goals. Many a company has gone under by spending to a sales forecast level which they are never going to meet.

I’m going to suggest something rather controversial... You have more chance of achieving your company’s goals if your staff feel some attachment or ownership of these goals. To get this feeling of attachment, how about involving them in the decision making process of ‘how’ the company is going to achieve its goals? Or, and this is the slightly controversial part, how about setting up a bonus pot to be distributed amongst all staff if the company achieves it’s goals?

Many individuals and companies are forever looking and driving forward. Whilst this is a very positive attitude, it is worth looking back to learn, and to take time out to celebrate successes. This reflect and review time is vital to help your company achieve its next set of goals.

What are you going to do slightly different this financial year to increase your odds of achieving both your personal and business goals?
 

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I help professionals, mostly accountants and lawyers become the Go-To-Expert. After joining BDO LLP in 2004, I have now almost clocked up ten years working predominantly with accountants helping them achieve their career and business goals. Unusually for someone with an Engineering Degree, I accidentally became a writer and used my knowledge on social media to write the current best-selling and award-winning book on networking, The FT Guide To Business Networking. (over 100 five star reviews on amazon) In 2012, the book I always wanted to write, 'How to make partner and still have a life' was published. In March 2014, my next book, 'The Go-To-Expert: How to build your reputation, differentiate yourself from the competition and win business' is published. People frequently talk about me as someone who really knows her stuff – which may be the reason I have, over the last decade, worked with over 300 partners, coached and trained over 2000 professionals at every level of the UK’s most ambitious professional practices. 

I am honoured to have been asked to judge the British Accountancy Awards in 2011 and 2012. I am a member of the Accountant's Club Global Advisory Panel, and write regularly on practice management issues for CCH.

Myself, and Jon (my co-director) are approved Growth Accelerator Coaches. This means that we can if you are eligible, through the Growth Accelerator scheme, help you get some coaching funded by the scheme. Click here for more details to see whether you are eligible for the scheme.

The types of work I am currently helping my small professional practice clients with, includes:

1) Helping a £2m t/o practice grow to £4m by restructuring the firm and helping the management team step up 

2) Working with a £1m t/o practice to grow to £2m by generating more leads, and getting more work from existing clients

3) Enabling a £300k t/o practice grow to £1m by helping it sort out it's profitability by adding in efficient systems and processes, and increasing the quality of the  lead generation by marketing to a niche

4) Facilitating the growth of a one man band practice into a 3 person practice by helping increase the lead generation and conversion rate of leads, plus keeping the practice owner accountable to his goals.

The Excedia Group was founded by myself and Jon Baker to bring clarity, perspective and knowledge to help our clients achieve their business goals. We specialise in working with highly technical individuals, typically lawyers and accountants, helping them to get out of their comfort zone and build a profitable and sustainable client portfolio whilst handling the challenges of leading a business. 

My work splits into about 50% Executive & Business Coaching with Partners & potential partners, with the rest split between training, consultancy and writing.

My articles & quotes regularly appear in the press, e.g. FT, Guardian, Accountancy Age, Accounting Today, Economia, ACCA's publications. I regularly blog at Partnership Potentialventure-NowJoined up networking and How to make partner.

To book me for a speaking engagement please contact my PR Agency, Meerkat PR, on 020 8563 0182, and ask for David Stoch. For any other work related enquiries, please contact me directly.

My clients have included: Deloitte LLP, KPMG LLP, BDO LLP, Haines Watts, MSI Global Alliance, UK200 group, Macintyre Hudson LLP amongst others.