The first step to having more fun and making more money is to align your business’ purpose with your personal purpose.

The second step is to create and execute business goals that progress the business’s purpose.

This might sound easy, but it’s not.  And more important, it’s not common.

According to research done by the Economist Intelligence Unit, a global multi-sector survey of 500 senior executives from companies with annual revenues of $1 billion or more confirm that implementation shortfalls are widespread and corrosive.  The report states that 90% of respondents admit that they fail to reach all their strategic goals because they don’t implement well, and 53% agree that inadequate delivery capability leaves them unnecessarily exposed to competitors.

If this is true for billion-dollar companies, what hope do the rest of us have?

A lot.  If we pay attention to the lessons learned, which may actually be easier for smaller companies.

  1. Goals are collective outcomes, not individual targets. Success is the accomplishment of all of the goals, not just some.  In fact, accomplishing some of the goals puts the company in a place where they never intended to be (and likely don’t know how to manage).
  2. Goals are clear, attainable, and understandable. Attainable means there is a strategy and plan to accomplish the goal, including financial and resource budgets, and timeframes.  Remember, hope is not a plan.  And without a plan, there is no hope.
  3. Goals are fixed, but the plans are not. Monitor changes in external and internal factors in order to use information to modify the plan to preserve and ensure the delivery of the outcome.
  4. Goals must support the company’s purpose. Goals not in line with the company’s purpose are changed so achievement advances the company’s purpose.  Or the goal is removed.  This ensures there are no divided or misbegotten agendas.  Company success (attainment of the goals) always advances the company’s purpose.

The principal reason for failure to meet goals is execution.

“too many companies go only halfway, putting their best resources into design and in effect ending up treating delivery as an after thought” (source: Brightline Initiative, “Closing the Gap: Designing and Delivering a Strategy that Works”, 2017)

Align goals with purpose.  Define a plan to attain the goals.  Then execute the heck out of the plan.  Sounds a lot like the first couple of steps in having more fun and making more money.

We’ll look at a crucial third step in the next installment that brings it all together.


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