It’s not about goals for 2014 – well at least not your goals

Like all businesses the goals and plans of the business were shared and regular updates given but unlike most people everyone in the business also shared their personal hopes, dreams and goals whether or not they were business orientated. They did this on a quarterly basis, wrote them on a wall that everyone could see and made it part of the company ethos to do this. And what’s more people gave up a weekend every three months to do so as it meant so much to them.

Why do they ask people to share in this way? Very simply because this is an integral part of that person – what makes them tick – and because they want to do all they can to support the people realise their hopes, dreams, goals and desires. And there are so many opportunities to do so that cost little or no money. Although there could potentially be some budget set aside if you were so minded.

And that got me thinking, whilst most businesses operate an annual performance review/appraisal where work related training might be discussed, including training for future roles, these meetings rarely go beyond anything that’s work related.


A recent advert for a career management company led with the fact that ‘a typical employee spends more time researching a holiday than planning their career’. And since this is the time of year when people are often researching holidays for next year maybe we should, as business leaders, be encouraging them to spend as much time if not more thinking about their career and their future plans.

And why not share with them your hopes, goals and dreams and desires for the future and what you are going to do in the coming months towards this. As they say in change work, go there first. Then invite them to do the same? It may take a little while to break down barriers and some people may reticent to ‘show their hand’ if they think it might impact on their role/position/employment. For me it wouldn’t do so as, I’ve mentioned before, I am a great believer that part of our role as leaders is to help people grow and if that means they move on whether elsewhere in the business or to a different business then that’s OK.

It’s possible that someone in the business could be a great mentor for one of the particular hopes and dreams or even a client or a supplier can help with that role. Use your network to help support the realisation.

For the first time ever businesses are made up of five different generations and each of those generations has different beliefs, needs and dreams; so understanding these will also help the people within the business and the leaders in the business. It’s integral to a flexible talent management strategy as well as having genuine interest in each person within the business.

Innovation isn’t just about the products and services within the business, marketing strategies etc. its’ also about HR.

A recent article in the Institute of Director’s Director magazine stated that “globally 44% of employees’ happy at work’ would consider leaving their job if there was no innovation from the HR dept.”

It then went on to say that “employers have up to six months to reveal exciting new workplace ideas before the employees start to search for a new job. And that 72% of employees expect their employers to be inventive in the development of staff but only 30% believe their current companies implement innovation in this field.”

Whereas in the UK “76% of those surveyed confirmed that cutting edge approaches to engagement and development would make them more likely to perform better and 51% said that an ingenious recruitment experience make them feel more positively about the business.”

Innovation has to include the organisation’s culture, which will in turn impact on behavior and support that’s given to business to reach its goals. So how about using innovative approaches with understanding the people in the business better?

If we look back to the previous discussions on what lies at the heart of your business ( where we discussed the four chambers of the heart of your business they included suppliers and customers as well as the employees.

So perhaps there’s also an opportunity to understand your customers/clients and your suppliers more by also asking them not just to share their business plans and goals but also their personal dreams, hopes, goals and desires and share yours too. For all the reasons why this can make a significant difference to the people within the business it will make a difference with these people too.

And who knows what opportunities there may be to support each other in realising them? So instead of making it about just the business goals for 2014 make it about the hopes, dreams, goals and desires of the people who are integral to your business. And remember that its an ongoing dialogue so check-in with them on a regular basis.

And we’ll talk more about innovation in the next coming blogs.

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