A positive way to create an organizational bond is through
goal-setting. Agreed upon goals can unite a group and focus energy in a
common direction. Goal setting provides a framework for team
involvement. Goals reflect the voice of a community or group of
individuals. A goal must be specific, measurable, achievable, realistic
and time specific.
Goals are the specific plans to obtain an organization’s mission and they come in one of two forms:
Subjective goals deal with changes in attitudes and a
desired outcome that measures progress not the actual goal. (Martin
Luther King’s “I have a dream” speech is an example of a subjective
Objective goals are directly related to a specific plan.
For example, John Kennedy’s Apollo Moon Program speech identified a
national goal. “I believe that this nation should commit itself to
achieving the goal, before this decade is out, of landing a man on the
Moon and returning him safely to the Earth.” This represents an
objective measurable goal. Never assume that your organization cannot
benefit from goal-setting. Goal setting and careful planning is a
mainstay to every successful organization. Your goals should seek to
create a sum that is greater than the individual parts.
Goals can be long term, short term, strategic or tactical:
Strategic goals are grand themes or campaigns…viewable from 5,000 feet in the air. Strategies are big steps.
Tactical goals are the specific small steps to
accomplish one large strategic goal. Tactical goals will involve
specific steps that may develop over time.
Consider the organization whose strategic goals are to promote
tourism, refurbish parks, and increase civic involvement. The tactical goals within that strategy might include
designing a satisfaction survey for visitors within the area, accessing
the number of amenities, creating an index of destinations, or
identifying landmarks in your community that need renovation.
Many organizations assume that goals fail for many reasons. Actually, goals fail for just a few reasons:
They are poorly defined and are not attainable
They lack a “buy in” from participants
They set-up conflicts between organizational members
They lack sufficient resources to be attained
Successful goals require consensus from the participants and commitment to the group --- in other words compromise.
Successful organizational goals will:
Set a blueprint for reaching a future state of being –different from the current
Create desired results
Provide opportunities to remove current barriers to success
Contribute to the mission statement
The first step in goal setting should be a brainstorming or
idea-sharing session. This session should be distinct from other
meetings and should be in an atmosphere and environment that encourages
creativity. The process is not as simple as it sounds.
several suggestions for effective ways to create safe brainstorming
All participants send ideas during an established period to a
person who will not be involved in the decision process. The person
lists the ideas in a common format that will not identify the
participant and distribute the lists to all committee members. Members
evaluate ideas without identifying their own.
Participants write ideas on paper at the meeting. Participants wad
the paper and throw it into a trash can in the middle of the room. When
time is up the facilitator distributes the wadded ideas randomly.
Participants read the idea they receive.
Writing on the Walls
Butcher paper is distributed to groups of participants.
Participant groups write ideas on the butcher paper. When writing time is
up, facilitator gives the group a break and puts the paper on the walls.
Time is given for everyone to read.
The most important element of this phase of the process is to not
evaluate or react to the goal proposals. The more goal proposals, the
better. This phase of the process is simply to collect data on proposed
Once the list of ideas is established a pattern should emerge.
Some Ideas will be subjective and some will be objective. Some will be
strategic and some will be tactical. The group should be involved in
identifying the characteristics of their ideas and organize them
according to their strategic or tactical category.
The next step is to see if any of the tactical goals support any
of the strategic goals. If not, another round of brainstorming can be
used to develop supporting goals.
Finally, have the group prioritize the goals. This can be done
using consensus (“Do we agree that our first goal is…”), voting, or weighted voting (in which participants are given 5 votes to cast).
Once the goals are prioritized, judge them using the SMART method. Are the goals: