Principles Setting & Crushing Goals

Principles: Setting & Crushing Goals

How do you set & crush goals?

Businesses have a process of Objectives & Key Results (OKRs) & Key Performance Indicators (KPIs). This sounds like corporate jargon – and it is – but the underlying principle is how to set audacious goals, define intermediate actions to accomplish them, and measure progress toward the goals.

At Barbell Logic, we’ve taken these systems and created a more straightforward process of Goals, Actions, and Metrics. This creates your GAMeplan. We develop, refine, and assess monthly, quarterly, and annual GAMeplans.

Whether you’re trying to improve your business, family, or yourself, whether you want to pursue a hobby, save more money, get stronger, or increase your productivity, this process can help you set and crush goals.

Ep 1: Objectives & Key Results

How do we set goals? How do we break those goals up to SPECIFIC, MEASURABLE, TIMEBOUND, smaller actions? How do we assess whether we’ve met our goals and, if we fail to meet them, if we moved in the right direction and made progress? Enter the OKR.

Objectives & Key Results (OKR) is a process for setting goals & breaking those goals up. An objective is just another word for a goal. Key Results are actions to move toward the goal. Key Results need to be timebound, and whether they were completed or not MUST be a yes or no answer.

To add to this process, organizations need a way to assess progress. Enter KPIs, or Key Performance Indicators. The feed into key results and objectives and provide information as to whether we are moving toward our key results and–more importantly–objectives.

This system comes from Andy Grove and Measure What Matters. His clarity and effectiveness at management ended up creating this system.

Coming from this system is the importance of how managers, leaders, and CEOs refine, revise, or replace existing routines and habits. While efficiency at tasks is important, we’re ultimately getting better or getting worse. Objectives, then, need to be achieved with action–with change–not goals that would be achieved by continuing to do the same things the same way.

Another key aspect of OKRs is the timeframe. It must not be too long nor too short. A week, for example, is not enough time to make large changes and too often to make these large evaluations of processes and routines. 5 years or 10 years, however, is so long that it deflates any sense of urgency and too many unknowns exist: there will be unforeseen opportunities that not only do you not foresee but you cannot foresee.

Crucially, saying yes to certain objectives means saying NO to others. Not everything can be a priority, and too many objectives decreases the chance of getting any of them done. Difficult decisions must be made regarding what is essential versus important versus nice-to-have. Fewer objectives also helps employees know what the objectives are: employees should be able to cite key objectives.

Key results need to be specific not only regarding what will occur but by whom – an individual needs to have his or her name next to the key result. This provides ownership.

Another note on setting objectives is that aggressiveness–audacity–should not be discouraged. If an employee establishes audacious goals but works hard to meet them and fails while advancing the company and providing value to the company, ultimately it’s a win. It’s a balancing act setting objectives and key results.

Too many people set objectives that are too easy. A smaller group goes the other direction and sets unrealistic goals. Ultimately, managers and subordinates need to discuss objectives and refine them over time. Good employees and organizations will fail to meet objectives sometimes.

Another element of OKRs is specificity. Wishy-washy thinking and inability to prioritize will prevent progress and limit the organizations effectiveness.

Ultimately, it’s all about output: what have you accomplished? Business and hard work are great, but if you have nothing to show for it then processes and time management need to be evaluated.

Finally, this applies to all organizations and individuals: government and military organizations, couples and families, individuals and employees can go through this process and better direct themselves to pursuing and achieving the things they want to accomplish.

Ep 2: The GAMeplan

Setting goals, meeting & surpassing goals, assessing progress: these are clearly important to all organizations and people. But, let’s be honest, some of these terms-OKRs, KPIs, etc.–are a bit corporatey. There’s a bit of a jargony, gobbly gook element that turns people off to what is essentially goal-setting, breaking up the goal to specific actions, and measuring progress. Enter the GAMeplan.

Barbell Logic has taken the principles of the OKR & KPI and turned it into something that’s easily understood: the GAMeplan. G is for Goals, which replaces objectives. A is actions, which replaces Key Results. M is metrics, which replaces KPIs. Finally, you have 3 terms that are easily understandable without needing to understand business jargon and it creates another word – GAMeplan – which is understood and relevant to setting goals. What’s your GAMeplan for losing weight or increasing your squat?

Barbell Logic sets yearly, quarterly, and monthly GAMeplans. They fall under tenets, which are essentially core values, and each person establishes a GAMeplan. This allows each employee to not only see her or his role in the company but to help form that role and have a voice in setting goals and how to measure it.

This leads to what in the military is called battle rhythm: what is the organization doing daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly, annually? How are decisions at the top getting communicated down to the lowest employees? How is information coming up and being communicated to the CEO? Which reports are due, who is writing them, and when are they do? How much time do they take to read? How much time do they take to write? How often does the organization have meetings? Who attends them? What is the purpose of the meetings? These questions have to be asked and answered if business will spend time efficiently and improve their effectiveness.

Barbell Logic has developed and implemented a monthly schedule that involves decisions being made, communicated down, subordinates and supervisors meeting with each other, and then a process of reporting goals up. It ultimately creates both a top down and bottom up process that is continual and allows for conversation and improvement.

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