When you look at the calendar, we barely have 30 working days left in 2021. 2022 is right around the corner. We are well into the motion of development or finalizing our business objectives for the coming calendar year. We have all done it again – set goals, identified targets, and assigned lead resources to make sure they get accomplished. Right about now you take in a deep breath and consider the task complete. – WRONG…. The reality is, that a solid portion of the task is set in place, but without solid lead factors defined, understood, and tracked then the likelihood of achieving the goals set forth is reduced.
Many organizations are exceptional at setting goals. They walk thru the process of identifying the specific element they want to focus on. They identify the resources needed. They even identify the due or deliver target date. It all sounds like a solid goal plan. It is as far as the plan goes. In the real world the plan is about to change but when and by how much. What adjustments will be necessary to stay on track. How will we know we are staying on course or drifting off course? You can’t wait until the due date or just monthly status meetings to check on progress. If the only indicator of progress is a completion date, then you might just wait too long and miss the best possible outcome.
The end of the goal and what it delivers are lag indicators. For example, when a leader reviews the Profit and Loss (P&L) statement after the closing of the books for the prior month, they are reviewing lag factors. These have already been completed and you just can’t change history. That is not to say that reviewing the P&L is not worthy of the time and what it reveals. The difference is having a set of lead factors which when proactively engaged will actually and directly contribute to the higher achievement of the lag factor deliverable.
Let’s use an example most of us can relate with. On New Year’s Eve many will set in motion the resolution to lose weight or get in shape. Both very nice objectives but typically these are abandoned shortly there after as the goal setter (you) is not seeing the lag factor metric results they desire – the pounds coming off or muscle toning. You are just using the lag factor and not proactively motivating oneself with lead factors. A lead factor would be the measurement of the action to be taken and the capture of those actions which directly lead to, and you have influence over to do them. This is a key statement – you must have the ability to have influence over the action involved in the lead factor, otherwise you cannot and will not produce the action. One possible lead factor would be to identify and measure/capture the actual food you put into your body in terms of caloric intake. This is your basic math problem. If you expend more calories than you take into your body, you will begin to normalize and consume excess from your existing body and thus you lose weight. I have oversimplified the statement, but hopefully you get the idea.
The lead factor is identifying the food intake. Setting a capture method for it on a real time basis, you will know if you are moving toward a positive result, staying neutral or falling behind well before the final goal is due. As mentioned earlier, you have a direct influence on the food intake. You control what goes in and how much of it goes in. If you do not have influence over the lead factor, then go back to the drawing board and set different lead factors.
This week review the 2022 goals and objectives to identify the lead factors necessary to ensure the lag performance goals are achieved. Don’t do half the goals setting plan and be disappointed next year. Complete the planning process by setting in motion key lead factors and measurement systems so you can have direct and immediate influence on the lag outcome.
Need help setting lead and lag metrics for your business? Reach out to a Promise Guide to help you be the very best you can be. FL 9407) 984-7246 MI (313) 527-7945