Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, Time-related
I gave this up long ago. Why? Because the A and the R make the goals so booooring.
Perhaps you have, like myself, goals in your organization that are something like:
- Decrease the number of errors reported by customers by 10%
- Increase profitability by 15% in two years
- Increase the amount of women in leadership positions to 23%
Oh, sorry, did I hear a snore? If you fell asleep I understand you fully. SMART goals may be easy to define and measure, but they are rarely fun and inspiring.
Goals are meant to lift us high, so we can fly above the hurdles without even noticing them. Or, as Henry Ford put it:
"Obstacles are those frightful things you see when you take your eyes off your goal"
To keep your eyes on the goal, the goal needs to be inspiring, scary and exciting. Not realistic and achievable. Not something we can measure and tick of as either achieved or failed. SMART goals will always be within, or possibly on the edge of your comfort zone. While we all know the magic happens outside of it.
Woman standing on red rocks celebrating success. Stokpic.com
Are you afraid of setting the crazy goals? For yourself or maybe for your employees?
If you are, consider the outcome of the study conducted by Leadership IQ.
The study concluded that employees who said their boss pushed them harder than they would push themselves, were more likely to consider themselves to be high performers. Since their boss thought they could go far - they thought so themselves.
Afraid of failing if you set the bar too high? Consider what Winston Churchill said:
“Success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm.”
Forget the SMART goals - go for the FUN ones. And create magic.
More info on this subject:
Why you want to be stretched outside your comfort zone
Failure is the key to success