The best managers, coaches and teachers of the world have a common technique that helps to make their teams successful - the ability to convert a high-level organizational vision into tactical micro-level steps that utilizes the individual contributions of each teammate.
I'm pretty sure the goal of each NFL team at the beginning of the season is to win the Superbowl. If the management of a NFL football team has only one goal for the team - "win the Superbowl" - what are the chances of actually realizing this goal? Very slim.
The best managers, coaches and teachers of the world have a common technique that helps to make their teams successful - the ability to convert a high-level organizational vision into tactical micro-level steps that utilizes the individual contributions of each teammate. A leader that is good at converting goals into actionable steps is a good leader. It is not good enough to simply want to get to the top of the mountain. Dozens, if not hundreds, of hours must be put into planning and preparation. Any one of these preparation steps can make or break the mission.
Let's say that your organization has the following objectives in order to call the upcoming or current year successful:
- 90+% Customer Satisfaction Rating
- 90+% Employee Retention Rating
- 15+% Profit Margin
A simple tool, such as a Goal Conversion table, can break down the 15% profit margin goal into functional expectations for each key process within the organization. Think Macro > Micro > Single Actions. By using this table, along with a red/yellow/green indicator, the status of several different key processes are apparent. Pat, the Process Owner for the Purchasing process, wants his box to be green. It's currently yellow indicating an unfinished task or high risk action.
Let's imagine the current performance is around 12%. How do you know? That's right... because you have a simple measurement tool in order to track monthly profit margin. This data is tracked by your accountant and provided to the Operations Manager by the end of the first week each new month. Here is the long-term performance for the current year as well as notes recording significant events and their associated actions.
Charts and graphs are great. But you need to be able to track which variables in the process have changed in order to control and improve process performance. Use the table under the graph to help explain why your data has changed from one data point (monthly) to the next data point. Action can also be recorded and linked back to the Goal Conversion Table (see Illustration #1 above).
There are few things in life more rewarding than doing a good job and visually seeing the fruits of your labor. Screaming "Let's Win the Superbowl" louder while spitting in the face of your team members is not going to work (sorry Bobby Knight). Clearly defining expectations - at relevant levels and functions to each player - and making performance monitoring simple works.
Interested in this concept? Click here to open or download our Goal Converter tool. It's free and simple to use. Feel free to modify this as you see fit and give us your feedback on how this has helped your team realize it's goals.