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  • D. and C. Sull

With Goals, FAST Beats SMART


The traditional approach to goals can actually undermine the alignment, coordination, and agility that’s needed for a company to execute its strategy. Expecting employees to hit 100% of their targets to earn their bonus, for example, creates strong motivation for them to “sandbag” by setting conservative targets they are sure to achieve. And when goals are kept private, employees don’t know what colleagues in other teams are working on.

Goals can drive strategy execution but only when they are aligned with strategic priorities, account for critical interdependencies across silos, and enable course corrections as circumstances change.

Over the past few decades, a handful of leading companies including Google, Intel, and ABInBev have pioneered and refined an alternative approach to harness the power of goals to drive and align action.

Four core principles underpin effective goal systems, summarized with the acronym FAST. Goals should be embedded in Frequent discussions; Ambitious in scope; measured by Specific metrics and milestones; and Transparent for everyone in the organization to see.

To read the full MIT article, please click here.


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