• Rich Haglund

Have you made your New Year's rallying cry?

Updated: Jan 20, 2020

Chances are, you spent parts of November and December making annual goals for yourself, your organization, and/or your team. I reckon you dreaded and were frustrated by the process. And you probably won't look at the results until your next performance review.

The Table Group has a simple solution to help you get out of goal setting hell:

Establish a rallying cry.

In this podcast, the Table Group explains how every organization (even families) needs a rallying cry - a single unifying focus for a given period of time (likely between 3 and 6 months, maybe 9, but rarely as long as a whole year). It should answer the question, for everyone in the organization, What's most important, right now? Another way to find the rallying cry is to ask, "Six months from now, what one thing will we have to have done to be successful?"

The Table Group model shows how, after establishing the rallying cry or thematic goal, you need to add "defining objectives" that make the cry more concrete. And, you still maintain the ongoing measures of organizational success ("standard operating objectives") like revenue, customer satisfaction, profit, etc.

I'll use my family as an example. Our oldest son is a high school senior. He plans to go to college after serving two years as a volunteer missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. So, our rallying cry might be, "Help Charlie leave the nest successfully."

Here are some defining objectives:

  • Support Charlie completing his college applications.

  • Help Charlie take complete responsibility for getting to all his commitments on time (i.e., don't wake him up, for school, for work, or even for dates with his girlfriend!)

  • Help Charlie manage all his finances.

  • Help Charlie learn to cook for himself (maybe make family dinner once a week).

  • Help Charlie prepare for his mission through service and study.

And, we'll keep looking at our standard operating objectives, e.g.,

  • Teach our children to be kind

  • Spend time together as a family -- at dinner, in activities, and on trips

  • Help our kids with school and extracurricular activities

  • Live within our means

Try doing this for your organization using the model. It has to be done with others in your organization - at least with the leadership team. Keep the focus shorter than a year.

The purpose is to have something that allows you to make decisions like how to allocate resources, choose among competing priorities, and to give everyone a reason for everything they do. Teams don't stop doing other things that drive standard operating objectives. But, they'll know what the real priority is for the current period and rally to make it happen.

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