What is THE Burning Goal for your business?

In business, as in life, it is very easy to get caught by the trivia of the world around you. As someone wiser than me has said, “in the absence of goals, we become strangely loyal to performing daily trivia until we become enslaved by it. Put another way, without goals you fall in love with being ‘busy’ and focus on what is in front of you (tactical) rather than where you’re going (strategic).

In business you will have many goals. You’ll probably have sales targets, personal KPIs, efficiency objectives and productivity outputs. If you had to choose, what is the single most important thing to achieve right now? What is your mission critical, before all else, Burning Goal?

1. Decide A Burning Goal

Every quarter, I help business owners decide the mission critical theme (Burning Goal) for the next three months. This single Burning Goal becomes the main focus for that time period.

For example, your mission critical, Burning Goal may be to recruit and retain people. The focus of ALL your team is achieving that goal. What targets will you set so you know you have achieved your goal? For example, the number of people hired.

2. Set an Action Plan

Now you’ve chosen your goal and how you will measure success, how are you going to achieve it? The same way you achieve any goal. Under that goal, you need to create a specific action plan that shows what you will do. For example, under your Burning Goal to recruit and retain people, your action plan may be:

  • Recruit three new team members by XYZ date.
  • Make certain all onboarding processes are up to date.
  • Ensure all staff have a Professional Development Plan.
  • Make sure management have scheduled regular ‘fire-side’ meetings with all employees.
  • Promote team building activities that encourage retention.
  • Review wages to ensure they are at market level.

At each team, management and board meeting check in on the progress towards your Burning Goal and review your action points. Design your agenda around the goal. Constantly focus on your Burning Goal before moving along the agenda to normal business activities.

Here’s where it gets interesting.

3. Decide on A Song

Once you have defined your Burning Goal add a song. Yes, you read that right.

Adding a song brings humour to the situation. The song burns in the collective memories of everyone the Burning Goal for the period. For example, to accompany your Burning Goal of hiring three employees and retaining all crucial staff, you might choose “Stand By Me” by Ben E. King, “Loyal” by Dave Dobbyn or even “Never Tear Us Apart” by INXS. I can almost guarantee there will be more debate about which song gets chosen versus what the theme or the Burning Goal is.

Choose your Burning Goal => Actions => Song => Implement and Measure

This process works because your whole team will know nad focus on what’s critical important for the business owner and the company (not their role or silo). They will live and breathe the goal for the entirety of the campaign, whether it’s three months, six months or twelve. By unifying the Theme and the Actions around a song, you are codifying what is important for everyone.

Sure, it may be light-hearted, but there is some serious psychology behind it.

Crusaders Winning Formula

Both the All Blacks and the Crusaders rugby teams subscribe to this philosophy. At the end of a particular season, as they’re standing on the podium and lifting the cup over their head, you may hear them singing or chanting something. As you watch players stepping off the bus and walking towards the changing rooms, I guarantee you almost all of them will be wearing headphones, and they’re probably listening to the chosen song.

Associating your Burning Goal with a song and reviewing the action plan at every team meeting is a simple way for every employee to internalise what’s important, and to help the business move forward together.

So, What’s Your Burning Goal?

It’s far too easy to get caught up in ALL the important goals across all aspects of the business. Consequently, everyone working towards what they see as their most important goal can make those silos even more obvious. Especially when you ask your team leaders or management team what they think the overarching Burning Goal should be.

When setting a Burning Goal, it needs to be critical for the entire business, and not just their part of the business.

If you want to become more productive and achieve the goals that really move your business forward, get in touch your local Prime Strategies business advisor.