You made a New Year’s resolution, right? No, I am not talking about the one where you want to lose weight, I am talking about the resolution you made for your company.
I know the year has barely started, but I am going to make a bet with you.
Drum roll please… you’ve already failed to achieve your New Year’s resolution!
That’s right, although the year just started, I can confidently say that you have already failed. Now it doesn’t mean you can’t change this, but you are going to have to make some drastic changes.
Step 1: Figure out what your goal really is
So what’s your goal for 2010? If you are like me you probably came up with a goal that has very little meaning. For example, mine was to make more money in 2010.
The problem with my goal and probably yours too is that it’s generic. So what do you have to do? Refine it into something more tangible.
For example, the way my company can make more money is to release more products out in the market. And the way we can increase the number of products we have on the market is to get our team to move faster.
So what’s my real resolution for 2010? It’s to make my team more agile.
For the next few minutes I want you to figure out your real resolution like I did.
Step 2: Get everyone on board
Your whole team has to be on board with your resolution. You can’t just expect to achieve it without having your team behind it.
Setup a brainstorming call with your team to come up with some unique ways you can achieve your goal.
Once everyone’s on board, plaster your resolution throughout your office. Change your desktop wallpaper to be your resolution. And have everyone write down the resolution on a piece of paper and have them place it on their fridge.
The reason you want to do this is because a lot of companies don’t accomplish their resolution because they forget about it. If you’re reminded about it on a regular basis, you’re more likely to work at achieving it.
Step 3: Break up your resolution
The main reason you’ve already failed to complete your resolution is because it’s too large. 78% of the people who make resolutions fail because their goal is too large. If you break your resolution into 12 smaller goals (one goal a month) that will lead you to accomplishing your New Year’s resolution.
As I stated above, my goal was to make our company more agile. So here is how we broke that up into 12 smaller goals:
- January: Begin utilizing the lean startup methodology across our whole organization.
- February: Figure out what we can do, without utilizing additional time from the “makers” in our company, so we can make a significant impact on our business today.
- March: Sign up for a better project management system. Good project management systems can help you complete projects on time.
- April: Work on less things by identifying and focusing on the few important things that will have the greatest impact on our business. By doing multiple things at once instead of focusing, we aren’t able to move as quickly as we want to be moving.
- May: Have daily calls that are no longer than 5 minutes. This way everyone will be on the same page and we won’t waste time on things that everyone doesn’t believe in.
- June: Get customer feedback on a weekly, if not daily basis. By doing this we will build stuff that our customers want and not waste time building things that no one wants.
- July: Learn to live with releasing products that aren’t perfect. At the end of the day, nothing will ever be perfect, so we have to stop being perfectionists.
- August: Make it a requirement that all company decisions have to be based around metrics and customer feedback.
- September: Give team members ownership over specific projects. If people feel that they own something, they’ll be eager to put in more effort.
- October: Have everyone spend a little more time communicating. Unlike most businesses we rarely have meetings with each other, so this year we want to facilitate more communication and hopefully make less mistakes.
- November: Get everyone in the habit of running RescueTime on their computers. This isn’t so we can see what they are doing, it’s so they can monitor their own behavior and cut out the things where they are wasting time.
- December: Bring our team together once a year. Because we have team members that live all around the world, it would be nice if everyone could be in one place for a few days. Bonding will help our company run more like a well-oiled machine.
When you combine the 12 goals above, you’ll notice that they’ll help make my company more nimble. Each one is very realistic and many of them are dead simple.
You don’t have to create anything complex, the purpose is to create realistic goals that you’ll have the chance of achieving.
And most importantly, they all have to be goals that don’t take too much time. You already have a busy day and if you add in more things that are time consuming, sooner or later you’ll make up an excuse and stop doing them.
Just because you’ve already failed to achieve your New Year’s resolution, it doesn’t mean you still can’t achieve it. You just have to change your approach and the way you are thinking about it.
So to recap, here are the things you need to do:
- Figure out what your real goal is. What’s the thing you have to do to achieve it?
- Get your team pumped up! If your team isn’t on board, you’ll never achieve it.
- Break up your resolution into 12 small goals. It’s hard to tackle a big problem, but it’s easy to tackle 12 tiny problems.