November 16

AS3 – Stan Dahl: How to Set Goals and Reach Them


AS3-Stan_DahlStan pulls from his experience helping companies put their businesses back on track and explains how to set and reach goals in your business.

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Stan’s comments:

The processes I’m mostly going to talk about this morning are going to be “how to get your business better”. I don’t want to talk so much about how you got to where you are now. To some degree that is a sunk cost, that was then. Hopefully you learned some lessons but you need to kind of let that go. If it has been a rough road up until now..ok, you’re smarter now, hopefully you’ve learned some lessons, but if you’re too obsessed on that you’re hurting yourself. Let that go.

You’re starting from an “as is”, where you are now. And, the thing I learned working with big companies that applies to myself every day is, most of the time when people talk about planning or business they talk about having a goal…if you don’t know where you’re going you’re not going to get there, blah, blah, blah…and that’s all true, that’s all really good stuff.

However, the thing I learned with the data thing was that I could explain exactly how companies could manage their data, leverage their data…all the stuff that Google does everyday, but when I was talking about it, it was “you can’t do that, it’s crazy”. Just describing the end state, even if they got it, it didn’t get anyone anywhere. You had to break down the steps..the procedure…to get from where you are now to where you want to go.

So, where that is important in all of our lives is that those 2 things have to balance. It’s easy to spend some time thinking about where you want to go…your goals…I’m going to do this, I’m going to do this, I’m going to do this. The problem is that it throws the teeter-totter to a crazy off-tilt…you’re not going to get anywhere. You also have to break down how you’re going to accomplish that. If it’s a far-flung 2 year plan, that’s too much to bite off all at once. For a lot of reasons. Including that the world will continue to change over the 2 years. It will not freeze to allow you to execute your plan.

So, you need to break it down into shorter steps. More about that later. And you need to think about how you’re going to get there. The large companies I worked with…their teeter-totter would often tilt the other way. They had processes and procedures and forms and managers…they would just keep coming out of the woodwork. Falling from the sky. They had remarkably well-thought out processes, but they focused on that. Everything was well filled out and documented, but you didn’t…there was no goal or visual about where they wanted to go. So, at all times you need to keep both those things.

A quote from Ralph Waldo Emerson. OK, you quote from Deming, now you need a soft quote so you are not too technical… “Life is a journey, not a destination” is a wonderful life goal, and you should live it every day. There is not a single day I don’t make sure I have 5 or 10 minutes of fun. Something I enjoy right now…consciously…today was a good day.

Business doesn’t work that way. If you want success in business, it’s a series of destinations. It is a series of things that you accomplish, things that you have, things that you…the verb that got you there, the process, is interesting, and you need that, but if you focus on the journey you’re not going to get the things done, acquire the things that you need to acquire to get there.

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