News Column

The road goes on forever…

July 2, 2014


The road goes on forever and the party never ends.

Start with the end in sight – it's such a basic observation that Stephen Covey nicked it for Habit #2. As with a lot of fundamentals, there's a lot of truth buried amongst the encrusted cynicism. Having a goal that you can articulate clearly, that has all of the wonderful characteristics of a SMART goal (specific, measureable, achievable, realistic and timebound), is a clear statement of intent, a guiding light for any organisation that allows employees to understand with decent clarity, where the company they work for is going. It helps them to answer the question WWIDITBWNH – what would I do if the boss wasn’t here – and allows a workforce to bind together and drive towards a common purpose.

Once you have a goal, a whole host of possibilities opens up – you can start to play with some of the parameters surrounding it (what do we need to do to improve profit by 15% next year? What are the fixed constraints and which are malleable?). How does the iron triangle of cost, time and quality start factoring in? Do all of the employees understand the goal and how they can support it? There's a story that we like to tell, definitely apocryphal, probably untrue, but given the truth or the legend, print the legend. During a visit to NASA in the mid-sixties, the US president gets taken around all the screens and rockets and widgets and is very impressed. On his way out, he meets a man pushing a broom down the corridor and asks what he does for a living. "Putting a man on the moon". Can everyone in your organisation say they understand the company direction that well and how they contribute to it?

Sometimes the simplest advice is the most pertinent – we like to ask one question and make one observation: "What does 'done' look like to you?" and "before you get in, know how to get out". What's your answer?

Martin Hughes


Martin Hughes is the founder and lead consultant of Carranmore, the SME-focused, complete lifecycle consulting practice. He firmly believes that other views are available and welcomes a bit of dialogue at @carranmore #farsightdxb.





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Source: SME Advisor Middle East

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