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A Cambridge Information Network survey
of more than 100 IT executives in 1997 revealed the majority indicated
strategic development and business innovation as an area they want to devote
more time to.
Goal setting, an important component of strategic
planning, is often done at this time for the upcoming fiscal year. A
good technique for developing future goals is to think creatively about
where the organization needs to go in the future and how possible changes
may affect the organization. Then review what was accomplished and
learned in prior year(s) and consider how that may help in planning new
or revised goals. Once goals are established and expected timeframe
are assigned, give them another review before communicating them to the
organization. In the review process consider: how these goals may be
affected by environmental and economical issues, how people in the
organization will be specifically accountable for the goals as they relate
to most people's responsibilities, as well as how they may be able to
measure them. Are the goals relevant to these people and can the goals
be achieved based on this consideration? After deciding this, write
the goals as clearly as possible to insure everyone in the organization can
understand them and work towards achieving them.
Computer software can be helpful in
tracking data on achievements towards goals, as well as graphically
displaying this data. However, be sure to consider what affect
technology may have on meeting the goals, not just tracking them. Many
consider competition when setting goals, but forget to consider how use of
current technology or lack of future technology may affect their ability to
match or beat the competition.
Click here for step-by-step MS Office tips to help increase productivity
and aid in achieving organizational or personal goals.
During goal setting, it
is a good idea to not only brainstorm goals but to reflect on them and why
they may or may not be successful. Using an activity known as "Sea Turtles"
in a room clear of furniture can help with visualization of goals and
success factors. In this activity paper plates, markers, colored paper, and
newspaper or magazine articles are used. Before beginning the activity,
gather headline articles on environmental or economical issues that may
affect the organization and place those in various places on the floor. Then
have each group member brainstorm a goal they would like to see, state it
aloud a goal, and write it on a paper plate. Do this until no one can think
of any more possible goals. Then have everyone write potential barriers to
meeting these goals on sheets of colored paper. Scatter the colored papers
and paper plates around the floor. Be sure to leave gaps between the paper
plates and have them make a zigzag trail from one end of the room to the
other. The floor will represent the sea of chaos and the paper plates are
the backs of sea turtles.
The primary focus of the
activity is to have members remain in contact with each other and their
goals at all times. So have the group members form a line where each person
has their arms linked with the the person in front of them and their hands
on their own waist. Going from one end of the room to the other side, the
group must use the turtles to cross the sea of chaos in the same order
without loosing contact and without skipping a goal. No one must step on a
barrier or issue along the way or they lose their next goal or that member
becomes blindfolded. How the group makes it across and insures everyone
steps on the same goals in the same order is up to them.
"A goal properly set is halfway
reached." - Zig Ziglar
Need a Facilitator?
Review comments below, regarding using
an experienced facilitator in meetings.
"If I had to pick the
people who have had the most impact on the support team, Shirley would be at
the top of the list. Through Shirley's leadership, team was able to set
goals, adopt an organizational structure, and prioritize a list of action
"Shirley's energy and enthusiasm are
excellent examples for the rest of us. I have seen many occasions when
Shirley was able to get a group moving just because of the enthusiasm she
showed on the topic at hand. That is very contagious."
"Shirley is an
excellent facilitator. When facilitating our team, her ability to remain
impartial keeps everyone on track. Her ability to facilitate a productive
meeting better utilizes everyone's time".
"Shirley is an excellent facilitator and
an expert on teaming. She keeps us on track in Quality Improvement team
meetings, often suggesting different problem solving techniques."
"Shirley was critical to
the success experienced by the functional team. Her experience and skills in
project management helped the team to get and stay on track. She helped us
with problem solving, defining our requirements and development of test