Without quarterly business goals, your company lacks direction. You'll find that energy is expended in areas that never pan out; projects are suggested or even begun, but are never finished. You may also find that you are stagnated, doing the same work for the same list of clients. You stagger along, never getting bigger, never advancing. Setting realistic strategic goals, on the other hand, allows you to enjoy growth and progress. By establishing strategic priorities (AKA Rocks), you give your company a place to go and objectives to strive for. But, how do you make your business goals realities? I’m happy to share the secrets that can give your company the tools to reach those important quarterly goals that will transform your company.
It All Starts with Rocks
Rocks? Yes, Rocks. But, not the kind Charlie Brown finds in his Trick or Treat bag. Rocks are simply EOS's (Entrepreneurial Operating System®) word for a specific type of concrete, attainable goals. They are a subset of SMART goals -- those goals that are specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and timely. Instead of setting a goal like "increase sales this year," you set a smaller, more specific goal. Rocks are the three to seven very specific strategic initiatives that you have identified as priorities for your team, your department or your company. By choosing specific smaller goals and holding people accountable, you can better ensure that your company will continue to grow.
At a smaller entrepreneurial company, there are always things that need to be done. There are things that you think would be great to put in place, but that you never have time to do. Rocks make it possible for these beneficial projects to find their way to the actual to-do lists.
Rocks allow you to set clear goals for all team members. Each person knows what he or she is accountable for. Everyone gets their own Rocks, including team leaders. These goals are set with a 90-day deadline. The 90-day length is short enough that the required actions do not land on the back burner, but long enough that there is time to do a thorough and effective job.
The team's Rocks are checked up on a weekly basis so that you can see where you are either “On Track”, where you need to be, or if you are “Off track” and can then vector resources to get it back “On track”. At the end of the 90 days, the goals are either achieved or they are not. There is no sliding time line, no wishy washy idea that these are things that need to be done "eventually" or "soon." They are time limited so that they become strong priorities.
Every Rock is assigned to one specific person as their owner. This is because, when something is assigned to multiple people, it is essentially assigned to no one. When multiple people are in charge, no one feels like the person who is on the hook to get the job done. By assigning each Rock to one person, you know exactly who is responsible.
The person in charge of a Rock may or may not do every task associated with it. They are, however, the sole person held accountable for that Rock and its completion. The owner of that Rock has the responsibility to ensure that progress is made, achievements are regularly reported, and that any impediments in the way are dealt with accordingly. With weekly reports, you are better able to handle any surprises and get people the resources that they need.
Why Rocks Rock
Rocks are excellent tools for holding employees accountable. They are agreed upon at the beginning of the quarter, so that your team members know what they are supposed to concentrate on for the next 90 days outside of the day to day operations for your organization. Everyone knows what is their responsibility. This accountability makes people feel more valued at work, as well. When people are trusted with specific goals, they feel more invested. These goals improve morale and give people the energy to strive toward better outcomes for themselves and your business.
These quarterly goals that make up Rocks tie into annual goals. Those annual goals, in turn, tie into 3 year, and then to 10-year goals. Over time, you can be sure that your company is making concrete progress in a specific direction you desire.
Each rock is a baby step. It helps you along the way. By breaking up large goals into smaller, actionable steps, you make those goals more realistic. For instance, you may set a goal for your marketing team to create and regularly update a profile on your social media channel of choice for one Rock. The next quarterly rock can be to increase engagement on that channel by a specific measurable. After that, work toward getting more prospects to your sales team. That team can have a Rock related to contacting every prospect within 24 hours of the prospect reaching out. By building out goals, you can increase your teams' effectiveness and your business's reach and revenue.
Over time, you will find that one small, attainable goal leads naturally into the next one. You will find that you are getting more done and becoming a more efficient and effective team or company. At the end of the year, or even the decade, you will find that you have accomplished far more than you would have by setting larger, more nebulous goals or through failing to set goals at all.
Each quarter is a new opportunity to begin giving your team more concrete direction, engagement, and accountability. Rocks are one of the powerful tools that can make your team work better than ever and achieve your quarterly business goals.
Traction Inc. is proud to offer the tools and training that businesses need to become the very best versions of themselves. Learn more about the EOS framework and contact us for a free business coaching quote.
The Entrepreneurial Operating System (EOS) was created by Gino Wickman (Author of Traction-get a grip on your business) and is a registered trademark of EOS Worldwide. Chris Hallberg of Traction Inc. is a Certified EOS Implementer(tm) that helps business owners and their leadership teams get more of what they want from their business.