Reaching new heights

An informative article series designed to help businesses with strategy and alignment. Written by Bill Bain. If you have any questions regarding these topics, you can contact Bill via email.

Picture this… your big aspirational vision is to ascend Everest in three years. You wouldn’t just throw yourself at Everest and hope for the best. It’s a wild adventure that requires meticulous preparation, planning and strategising for months and years.

Just like business, having a clear vision and direction is key, but you need to set short-term goals before reaching the peak. Short-term goals set mile markers on the road to success. They provide a roadmap, and in union with your company’s purpose and values, they give your team a sense of direction.

I’ve had clients come to me with a big aspirational vision, but the further the vision is, the more daunting it feels – “Hell, let’s just plod on, I’m sure we’ll get there”, they say.

If only it were that straightforward.

To conquer Mt. Everest, your goals might look something like this:

Year one:

  • Begin planning the logistics of getting to Nepal.
  • Begin planning the group you will join.
  • Plan and commence your training program.

Year two:

  • Finalise logistics.
  • Go to stage 2 of your training program.

Year three:

  • Go to stage 3 of the training program.
  • Commence journey to Nepal.
  • Meet group.
  • Understand and align with each goal for the ascent.
    • First phase: Reaching the base camp (5365 m)
    • Second phase: Climb towards icefall (5400 to 6100 m)
    • Third phase: Camp 1 (Valley of Silence) (6100 m to 6400 m)
    • Fourth phase: Camp 2 (6800 m)
    • Fifth phase: Camp 3 Lhotse Wall (7100 m)
    • Sixth phase: Camp 4 Death Zone (8000 m)
    • Peak

Once everyone begins the climb, they don’t tackle the entire mountain in one go. The journey is broken down into stages, stopping at base camps along the way. Each camp serves as a milestone.

Now back to reality.

That great vision is there, now you need to plan the journey with short-term goals. The best part about setting these short-term goals is that each small victory brings you closer to your vision, building confidence and motivation. Knowing that each step is propelling you towards your destination is rewarding.

Whilst your vision for the future might be a bit blurry, your short-term goals will be clear. Each year’s goals are built on the previous year. But remember, as circumstances change, goals need to evolve with them. Each year, ask yourself – is the vision still realistic? Have I encountered new barriers or opportunities? Stay flexible and adaptable, and adjust your goals accordingly.

As time closes in towards your vision, things become clearer and clearer.

In summary, goals will:

  • Create clear direction and focus, allowing everyone to work on the important things that need doing.
  • Allow you to have things to measure. What gets measured gets done.
  • Create momentum. As people achieve their goals, it creates a buzz that propels people to want to do more.
  • Make it easier to be flexible and prioritise any changes.
  • Allow for better organisational alignment. Everyone in the waka is rowing in the same direction.

Whether you’re facing the daunting slopes of Everest or tackling audacious business goals, remember it’s not about the result but the journey. It’s about growth, resilience, and the lessons you learn. Don’t underestimate the power of effective goals. They provide direction, motivate your team, and bring your vision to life.

This brings me to the end of the module on setting your company’s direction.

(You can read the first two here – Part one: Where do you want to go? Part two: How developing core values can drive your business culture.)

If you implement these strategies, I promise you’ll have a far better chance of moving from Good to Great. To explore more, please contact me, and I will provide you with an initial consultation at no charge.

If you don’t know where to begin, want to talk through something, or have a specific question but are not sure who to address it to, fill in the form, and we’ll get back to you within two working days.

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