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Do Your Goals Work Together?

What makes goals achievable? Setting small daily priorities to make progress each day works well for me, as I’ve shared before. Recently, at our very first Huddle, we discussed setting and protecting priorities. One of our panelists, Beth McGuire, vice president of provider marketing and communications at United Healthcare, provided some incredible insights on how she sets “well-rounded” priorities.

All priorities should ladder up and drive towards the bigger business priorities. However, a well-rounded approach starts with the realization that not all goals are the same and it’s important to make sure they aren’t focused too heavily on one area over another. There are five categories Beth shared that she uses – and she makes sure her priorities cover all five:

1.    Operational. These goals are all about process improvement and efficiency. Are there processes that need improvement or new systems that need to be created? Are there steps you could take to streamline systems that aren’t working or could help your team tackle everyday problems head-on?

2.    Strategic. This is focused on key capabilities or initiatives. What do we need to get from the current state to our desired future state? What are the foundations we need to put in place today to set us on the path to success?

3.    Data-Driven. Data is indispensable in today’s business climate. Data-driven goals are about stepping beyond your instincts and using information to guide your team’s growth and to show your impact on the business. Implicitly, pursuing data-driven goals also guarantees that you (and your team) are actively collecting data to measure your progress over time.  

4.    Transformational. Where do you want to be (or your company or team to be) in 10 years? These are the big, hairy audacious goals that are a little scary, but also exciting to think about. Strategic goals remind you of the long-term possibilities. Transformational goals are all about blowing something up to make room for something new. Even if something is working, there is room for innovation. Beth calls these “game changers”.

5. People-Focused. This one is all about the team. What skills do we need to add to our team to reach our goals? Who do we need to recruit? Which development opportunities should be the focus and why?

I really liked this concept and will be using it during priority setting for Pivot. How about you? What are your categories to create well-rounded priorities in your world?

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