Our Weekly TL;DR on Growth Perspectives

Part I: Goal Setting…how to make these aspirational and achievable?

April 20, 2022 - Dan Rossignol

Setting aspirational and achievable goals for CEOs and founding teams can be difficult. Leaders have constant pressure to meet internal and external expectations that, in some cases, feel conflicting. Leadership teams must be prepared to articulate how revenue targets will help move the fiscal needle while ensuring all teams have the right momentum required to beat quarterly or annual expectations. To unpack this goal-setting paradigm, let's compare two types of goal-setting structures: individual contribution goals (ICGs) and team contribution goals (TCGs).

ICGs are mission-critical in that they help give individuals a self contributing purpose to work toward the greater company mission. Most people desire to work with others, but they internally want to know they are making a difference. Most leaders set up ICGs as a catch-all strategy because they want to standardize the "carrot and stick" management part of their job. We believe this approach misses the point in most cases. Humans have different levels of experience and different motivations for why they go to work each day. To achieve an ICG structure across your team, here are three tactics you can deploy:

  1. Communicate a "you first" interview structure for your growth team.
  2. Deeply learn more about what motivates your recruits.
  3. Use personality assessment tests to learn more about your team. 
  4. Tools like Predictive Index can help you better understand your recruits.
  5. Leverage, manage by objectives (MBO) incentive structures. 
  6. MBOs help you build individual goals that combine with team goals.

Remember that while there are various ways to incentivize people, the most critical and motivational lever you can pull is the one that is pulled with someone and not for someone. Too often, we don't leave much room for the individual to participate in setting and architecting their own goals. If you are building a company in the modern era, you will significantly benefit from empowering your team to participate in incentive and goal planning activities.

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