Welcome to my first blog of 2009. On a weekly basis, I will share and discuss my perspective on professional development here.
The beginning of a new year is typically the time when most of us make some resolutions – both personal and professional ones. I read once that people who set goals are 60% more successful than those who don’t – and personally, I am an advocate of setting goals. But I’d like to propose some changes to the traditional way of setting goals.
Traditionally, working professionals set goals once a year – whether it is formally or informally, review these goals with their managers, and then perhaps do a mid-year check on those goals. While this method may work some of the time, it simply tends to fails us most of the time. We spend the lion’s share of the performance review going over all the reasons why the goals were not met and then to top it of, we even put together a development plan that accommodates these excuses! In 2009, consider incorporating the following in order to buck this trend:
- Continue to set annual goals, but use the popular SMART acronym to make sure the goals themselves are actually achievable. There needs to be a non-debatable consensus on whether the goal was met or not and that starts by setting the right goals.
- Think of the year as a series of milestones and those milestones should be much more frequent – I recommend two types of milestones.
- Every Month – break the annual goals into bite size chunks of 2 months – the cumulative sum of these milestones should match the annual goal
- Every Week – break the monthly goals into even smaller chunks of weekly activity that directly supports that goal.
- Finally, find a buddy (peer) at work with whom you can share the monthly and weekly goals…very similar to having a workout partner at the gym. Share the goals with each other and push each other to achieving them since the ‘formal’ meeting with your manager is … well … formal.
I wish you all a great 2009 – and wish you success in establishing, tracking, and achieving your goals. One of my goals this year is to write a weekly blog (note that I used the SMART acronym) and to generate stimulating dialogue regarding the change (from traditional ways) that is already in motion for developing talent in the workplace.