You’ve spent countless hours defining “WHO you are” by asking the following questions with your team:
- Why do we exist (your purpose)?
- How do we behave (your values)?
- What do we do (your products and services)?
- How will we succeed (your strategic anchors)?
While confident in your purpose, the values that support it, the products and services that advance it, and your strategies for engaging with others around it, you begin asking, “What is most important RIGHT NOW?”
Rather than spending time on the things that must always get done, this question causes us to consider the “abnormal important” – the items on our to-do lists that simply haven’t gotten done yet.
In determining what is most important right now, consider the following 3 questions:
What is your “Thematic Goal”?
This goal is the most important item on your plate (i.e. solidify organizational principles). As you craft your goal, consider the following elements:
- Singular – Develop ONE top priority for a given period of time.
- Temporary – Consider a 3-12 month time period.
- Qualitative – Develop qualitative measurements (phantom numbers tend to either limit a team’s maximum output or stifle them in such a way that hitting anything other than the number is considered failure).
- Shared – Develop a collective goal where the entire organization seeks to help one another (individual departments’ Thematic Goals should always be secondary to the organization).
What are your “Defining Objectives”?
These are things you need to get done / solve in order to achieve your goal and make it more specific / understandable. Like Thematic Goals, they should be:
What are your “Standard Operating Objectives”?
Standard Operating Objectives should be:
- Ongoing – These items are to be continuously monitored no matter the current, targeted focus (i.e. KPIs, financial metrics, etc.). They should outlast Thematic Goals.
- Quantitative – Look for hard data to track and trend so you can see how changes in strategies and behaviors affect these lagging indicators.
- Straightforward – Make them concise and easy to understand.
While there are many ways to track progress, we find this strategy to be incredibly helpful in moving significant plans forward. In any event, answering “What’s most important right now?” should pull you out of the every day rut and into targeted focus on the things that matter most.
What’s most important right now for you?