Maybe it is my marketing training that has me tracking all things business related, but then I already created all sorts of fun trackers as a kid. I wonder sometimes if it is just me or whether more people work like this? Do feel free to comment and let me know what you are tracking and why?
For me, the prime reason for goal setting and subsequently tracking them is to see if I am making progress. I tend to set goals for what is important to me. So for example, growing the business turnover is one goal, adding new customers, creating new leads, setting up information funnels, website and social media performance etc. Most things in business can be tracked and I enjoy watching the results or progress happening, I also on the flipside do my best to steer results in a positive direction when they aren’t going to plan.
On occasion, it happens to not hit a goal right on target and then the decision is whether to change course, to explain why it happened and learn from it and consider learning progress. This year for example, with the upcoming fiscal year end for year 6 in the business, I know we have the 6th consecutive year of revenue growth, which is good. However, I am not happy with the current results, as they are way lower than my goal target. There are some good reasons for this including some contracts not going ahead, postponing and other good reasons.
When the year-end accounts are all filed, I tend to take some time to reflect and set new goals for the next financial year. I have some exciting news already, which will kick off the next financial year in a positive with a big contract win. Enquiries are going up again and some are close to closing, so the future is definitely optimistic. We have learned a lot from the past two years.
Earlier today, I was talking to a marketing tool supplier about how to set up a marketing campaign in their funnel system, so that I could track goals. As it turned out I wanted way more information and functionality than the system provided. It is why I love gamification because I can track virtually everything and build in milestone rewards.
In my personal life, I also set goals. From fitness to reading, writing and even doing fun stuff. I don’t know if you do, but it has been so ingrained in my world that I wonder if that is just me?
We even created a goal setting plugin for our gamification academy to help people achieve their objectives. I personally come from the school of what gets measured gets done and data gives you feedback. After the facts, you can’t change it, but if you are aiming for something, you should for sure know what would be the telltale signs of progression and the direction it is going in.
It brings back a lovely sailing analogy. I used to sail competitively in a “Class 1 X33” boat for those of you in the boating world that will mean something, for everyone else it is a boat where you need a few people as crew to make it run well. I joined the crew knowing relatively little about sailing and the helmsman who used to train Olympic teams explained that one of the things you needed to watch was the telltales on the mainsail for feedback. He advised they should all be aligned in the same direction to know whether you were for sure cruising. In modern boats, you have way more equipment that tells you lots of other things too, but for me, that stuck as a great analogy for how I use goal tracking to see if my course is set to cruise or not.
I also always wondered why my workplace systems were not set-up to track against performance and telltales. Hence we are affiliated with some tools that can help you do this for businesses. The system shows you in dashboards and traffic light colouring whether an individual, team, department and company is on track and who is struggling and may require assistance. As a business grows or with remote teams, this becomes an essential part of running a successful business.