This goal setting method can be used for an individual, a team, an entire department, whole organizations or even the Policy Makers/Board of Directors of an Agency. We have used this method to develop goals for a new manager and then used these goals as the guideline for the organization and the performance evaluation for that same manager.
1. Start with a simple brainstorming session.
Let each participant have 10 minutes to write down what they think their goals should be. You may assist participants by asking them to:
- think about issues that keep recurring
- look at past goals if available
- list the top services of the organization
- list customer complaints
- what do you want to get done this year?
2. Let each member of the brainstorming session share one of their written goals with everyone else.
Write them on a large pad of paper (use paper that you can stick on the wall so you can spread them around the room for everyone to see). Continue this process until everyone has provided their ideas – many will say their ideas are already on the wall so you don’t have to write them again – remember no idea is wrong. However, some people will want to say the same thing with different words – that is also ok.
3. Once you have all the ideas, you can consolidate them since many may be similar.
Edit the ideas so they make sense for your organization. Sometimes this may take some time and you can have one or two people work on it and come back to the group on another date or you can give people a food break while you combine similar goals.
4. Next, have each member of the goal setting session rank their top 7 ideas.
Typically you’ll have about 25 ideas on the list at this stage of the process. Have them rank #1 as the most important, #2 as the next important, etc. A good method for this is to give people index cards so they can write down and prioritize their goals.
5. Have each person share their rankings.
Once everyone has had a chance to provide their top 7 goals you can add them up and see the results. The lowest scored goals win (like golf–lowest score wins). It is very interesting to see how many people find that they share similar goals as their top 7.
6. Use the top ranked goals to develop a game plan.
Once you have the total scores on each goal listed, select the top 7-10 goals with the lowest score and you have a game plan. Of course there will be additional tweaking of the wording and development of the steps and objectives to reach those goals but you are ready to start. Since everyone participated, there is more buy-in to the new goals.
7. Implement a plan to achieve goals.
Once the goals are set, the team, department, agency or organization can put together a plan to achieve these goals. Evaluations of the team, department or agency can be based on this list of goals. We have also used this process for new Executives/CEO with their Board of Directors after they have been working together for about 2-3 months. In this case, the goals are used as part of the performance appraisal for the new Executive/CEO during their annual review.