"@joycecherrier: Achieving Without Goals http://t.co/N7NEciVOdZ via @zen_habits" an alternative perspective on goal setting and success
A little too "Woo, Woo" for you?
I almost passed over this little blog post... but the title drew me in. For the over achievers and the continuous improvement obsessed this might seem like heracy. However, as you read a little further you will find things that make sense to these very same people. Let me say it my way "Principles, purpose and process... before goals."
In this context, I somewhat agree... end goals are redundant and unnecessary. However, progress goals are certainly a big help. This is good thoughtful writing about concentrating on important. The principles suggested are important aside from any goals.
In the spirit of the writer, I am going to do a little curious exploring of my own...
In the background of reading this I have also been thinking lately about concepts I have often used as guides in organization design and change management:
Pareto and "loose-tight"
Most are familiar with Pareto - the "80/20" relationship of most things - for example, 20% of your problems produce 80% of your pain. Its been stated and transformed into charts so often that I'm sure people have forgotten the thinking behind it. Conceptually It implies don't try to micro-resolve every issue that comes your way - go for the important ones... the ones with impact.
The other concept of "Loose-Tight" relates to designing control into organization management - it implies a sense of balance. Loose equates to innovation and spontenaity, Tight equates to control and discipline. I've seen little understanding of the balance and situational application of disciplined control versus requirement to protect spontaneous innovation. Organizations (and their leaders) often err to one extreme or the other. It is as if they are both religions or political parties.
Where leadership becomes both art and science is in designing and building the balance and acceptability of both. A time to be loose... and a time to be tight - focusing on the 20% that requires discipline, attention and deliberate action. If in your organization, you have no purpose... If you have no principles... You do not know how to assign importance to any issue, process or activity. You only wait for a failure or complaint to tell you what you should do.
Why is this important? Some of our organizaitons are expressing desires for innovation while heading to extremes of "tightness" controls on activity and decisions. The results are claims of engagement while proceeding on a path that does nothing but disengage and disempower.
Now do you see why his blog post drew me in.
By Billy Bennett