Are SMART goals the solution for you in 2014?

There’s no doubt that the SMART goal model is the leading format for goal setting in business. You probably already know what the acronym stands for, particularly if you’ve completed a business course or spent more than, say, a couple of months in management. To recap they are; Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Time bound. It is an effective model for ensuring that goals aren’t just vague expectations that differ whoever you ask and that they stand a chance of being achieved.

However, there is some criticism of the model when it comes to teams that want to achieve extraordinary results. In the US an organisation called LeadershipIQ surveyed over 4,000 people across 397 organisations and found that only 15% of employees believed that their goals helped them to achieve ‘great things’. This reduced to 13% when it came to the question of whether their goals helped them to achieve their full potential. A white paper has been created going into further detail but one of the significant reasons why SMART goals don’t deliver extraordinary results is that they tend to encourage people to stay in their comfort zone, with limiting language such as achievable and realistic.

This will be a controversial point, but if an organisation is going to have a great year (what the Romans used to call an Annus Mirabilis) shouldn’t they be thinking in terms of BFHAGs; Big Fat Hairy Audacious Goals? If not then you can bet that one or, more worryingly, some of your competitors are being that bold. What do you want for 2014? A ‘Groundhog Year’ or something a bit more exciting? If it’s the latter then maybe it’s time to get audacious.

Whatever your goals for the coming year we can help you to motivate, reward and inspire. We’re always up for a challenge so we’ll be particularly delighted to hear from you if you have audacious plans so that we can create an event to match them.

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