Goal Setting Exercise

The importance of timing!

Goal Setting Exercise

The importance of timing!

Here’s a goal setting exercise to get you thinking about the importance of timeliness in business planning.

One potential problem with goal setting is that you can spend too much time planning , and not enough time making things happen. Conversely, it may be that you spend too little time in preparation and pay the penalty for hasty decisions.

Whether your issue is acting too soon, acting too late, or acting too rarely, think about the importance of timing in your planning activities.

The ‘F’ Plan

This goal setting exercise is part of our series on Business Goal Setting: Using the “F-Plan”. The series consists of a structured process designed to help you improve your business planning and goal setting.

Think about the 6 F’s when setting your goals:

  1. Future: Company Goal Setting: Two Kinds of Future.
  2. Filter: Goal Setting in the Workplace: Filter to Make the Right Choices.
  3. Frame: Frame Your Goal Setting Plans.
  4. Focus: Goal Setting Strategies are Underpinned by Focus.
  5. Fast: Goal Setting Exercise – Are You Fast Enough?
  6. Faith: Goal Setting Facts Need Faith.
Goal setting exercise – why not just do it?

Think about some of the goals you have set. If you started implementing them immediately what would be the risk of something going wrong? And what would be the likely impact. Decide whether it’s just worth starting on your goal – can you jump straight to action?

Goal setting exerciseMany of our goals actually don’t have significant down sides; they are worth putting into action straight away. The smaller or narrower the goal, the more likely that you could act quickly. It may be that you think there are barriers to your goal setting, but be objective, are things really standing in your way? If there isn’t much of a downside, but there is lots of potential benefit, then perhaps you should think about acting faster.

Along with the idea of moving to action sooner, a second goal setting exercise is to think of ways to achieve a goal faster than you initially might have thought was possible. Sometimes it’s more valuable to start, even if a plan isn’t perfectly formed, then adapt and change as the situation develops.

Goal setting exercise – keep it simple

Even when our goals are more complex, or the potential for downside prohibits immediate action, we can still speed things up. One key to modern business success is the need to be flexible and responsive to market and customer demands. Or maybe to broader environmental factors which may impact our business. But trying to be genuinely fast and responsive still requires careful management and effective preparation.

One way to combine proper planning with timeliness and flexibility is to keep things simple. It may be that the more important the goal the more complex the planning and preparation to achieve it. But why not audit the planning and goal setting process? Think about how you can set yourself up to be more responsive, how can you simplify what you do so that putting goals into action quickly becomes an easy goal setting exercise. Take a step back and think about how your processes could be simplified or streamlined. Just because things have always been done this way, doesn’t mean they always will be!

Goal setting exercise – think timeliness

Fast doesn’t necessarily just relate to speed. It’s also about ensuring that your new ideas, whether services or products, are brought to your customers when the opportunity is at its optimum. If the idea’s time has not yet come, then you need to be patient.

Equally, launching or acting prematurely might appear to be fast but only if you’re truly ready. Re-launches or expensive tweaking after the event can be expensive, both in financial costs and in terms of brand reputation. The answer lies in the Goldilocks approach, act when the time is just right. When in doubt, remember the fifth test of obviousness: is the time ripe?

‘Fast’ goal setting

In summary, ‘fast’ goal setting means asking yourself:

  • Can you act now? Or at least with minimum delay.
  • If not, how can you take action more quickly?
  • Can you speed up the goal setting process?
  • Does it need simplifying or streamlining, after an objective audit?
  • Is the timing right?
  • What opportunities can’t wait? Why?
  • What goals need to be put on hold? Why?

Fast is the mantra of the new business era, everything must be done quickly. How can we learn ways of delivering fast without being furious? To be genuinely fast, and thus responsive, requires preparation. It also requires timeliness and the ability to keep things simple. Complexity almost invariably means that trying to be fast can cause difficulties and perhaps even chaos.

Now turn to the last article in the F-Plan mini series: Goal Setting Facts Need Faith.

Putting goal setting into action!

SMART Goals, SHARP Goals e-guideYou can also find our more about the benefits of goal setting in our e-guide: SMART Goals, SHARP Goals to help you do just this. The guide contains 30 pages and 5 tools to help you to set SMART goals, then take SHARP action to achieve them.

It includes:
  • How do you define goal setting?
  • What features of goal setting are important, if we want to ensure they are more likely to be successfully achieved?
  • What kinds of goals are more likely to make us motivated to achieve them?
  • How do you set SMART goals?
  • Why do goals matter?
  • What kind of goals should you pursue to be happier in what you do?
  • How do you set team goals?
  • What strategies can you apply to overcome barriers to setting goals?
  • How do you develop SHARP plans of action that help you to achieve your goals?
  • What techniques can you use to get things done?
  • How do you set personal goals?

Tool 1: Conventional goal setting
Tool 2: Setting SMART goals that motivate
Tool 3: The kind of goals that will make you happier
Tool 4: Taking SHARP action
Tool 5: Team goals flowchart
Tool 6: Eight personal goal setting questions

Further Reading

The F-Plan

Business Goal Setting : Using the “F-Plan”
Future: Company Goal Setting: Two Kinds of Future.
Filter: Goal Setting in the Workplace: Filter to Make the Right Choices.
Frame: Frame Your Goal Setting Plans.
Focus: Goal Setting Strategies are Underpinned by Focus.
Faith: Goal Setting Facts Need Faith

>>> Return to the Goal Setting Knowledge Hub
>>> Return to the Decision Making Knowledge Hub
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