August 08, 2017

Ahead Of Time

When I worked at Lands' End, we had clear Goals and Objectives, issued before the fiscal year began. Our performance was measured against Goals and Objectives. We knew ahead of time what mattered.

When I worked at Eddie Bauer, we had clear Goals and Objectives, but we weren't held accountable for performance against the Goals and Objectives. So nobody really cared about Goals and Objectives.

When I worked at Nordstrom, we frequently began the fiscal year without Goals and Objectives. That's a problem, because by February 1 (the beginning of the fiscal year) we were already doing work that would impact the business in Fall. In other words, our Goals and Objectives only impacted the latter half of the year (unless they were written in a clever way).

This drove me nuts. So I gave my boss (the Chief Marketing Officer) Goals and Objectives for my team for the upcoming year ... in November or December of the prior year. I'd tell my boss that "this is what we're focusing on". By the time late February arrived and we didn't have Goals and Objectives, guess what? My Goals and Objectives became real Goals and Objectives. And you know what? We were already several months into implementing the work necessary to meet/exceed our Goals and Objectives.

This brings me to you ... you want to know why your Executive Team won't adopt your work?

Odds are your Executive Team has Goals and Objectives. They may have written them on their own, or the CEO may have written them. Regardless, they're working on fulfilling their Goals and Objectives. If your idea doesn't align with their Goals and Objectives, well, you know what might happen to your ideas, right?

Get out ahead of the issue. It's August. Start aligning the stars right now. Clearly communicate to Leadership what you'd like to accomplish in 2018 (or sooner). Ask your Leadership Team to write what you want to accomplish into your Goals and Objectives for 2018.