Not so many years ago my company, Efficience, went off into our annual meeting and planned our coming year.  We set goals for the company, discussed and planned the great things we would do the coming year, and naturally returned all fired up.  3 months later, in our quarterly meeting, we were in the same place we’d been at the start of the annual meeting.  The nuances of day to day business had laid a thick blanket over the plans we made, and without the help of all of us to lift it, it wasn’t going anywhere. 

This is so similar to the never-ending New Year resolutions we all succumb to making, and rarely find ourselves victorious in keeping.  Good intentions dissipate in the trials of life, love, work, and school.  How funny is it that year to year nothing changes? 

With January coming to an end, how many of you find your commitments are already fading?  It’s easy to become overwhelmed by the big picture.  We fail to see that these goals we set don’t happen overnight, they happen gradually, one step at a time. 

Your next step is crucial to reaching your goal.  Without it, you’ll never take the one that follows.

Our team recognized that we needed more than good intentions to execute our goals.  We brainstormed and filtered out the most important ingredients needed for a process that might make the difference, an experiment some might say. 

At the start of a quarter we take our Company Quarterly Goals and break them down into Individual Quarterly Goals that support them.  From there, each person begins with naming their first step towards reaching that goal, even if it’s a small one.  Where the process comes in is in the Visibility and Rhythm.  We don’t just talk about what we’re going to do, then come back the next week hoping no one remembered and say it again.  We write it down for everyone to see.   The next week, we check it off, and put down the next step.  This step can be as small as making a phone call, as long as it’s a step in the right direction.  It’s a process of reaching our goals one step at a time, and at the end of another quarter, we find ourselves having met our goals and ready to make new ones.  We now use online software, FlockGPS, to help us manage the process (our software, of course!)

The act of telling your peers what you plan to do, and knowing in a week you will have to report back to them, holds each person accountable to the next.  No one wants to be the person that didn’t do what they said they would.  Even more so, we are all contributing to the company goals.  We’ve built camaraderie in our office where we all work to execute our goals. 

The first of January we spent another weekend in the Smoky Mountains on our annual meeting retreat.  But these days we have a process that we didn’t have in the beginning, and that process has helped us reach goals that seemed unattainable in the past. 

In an economy where many businesses are happy just to keep the doors open, we’re growing!  I hope that you can find this helpful in finding execution for yourself, both personally and professionally.