Translating organisational goals to individual goals is one of a series of short blogs in response to questions asked at the seminar on performance management run by TimelessTime at the Let’s Do Business show in Hastings.
In the simplest sense the company performance is simply an aggregation of individual performance. Again in the simplest sense, individual goals should simply aggregate such that when realised, the organisation achieves its goals.
Like all things nothing is quite that simple. The key question nonetheless is “if all the goals that each person has adopted are achieved, will we as an organisation meet our overall goals?” This does mean that managers must plan for contingency and the likelihood that some individual goals will not be achieved. This simple aggregation of goals illustrates why it is that goals should always be as objective as possible and should be quantitative.
Many goals involve leaps of faith. An example is that if a manager is to build a cadre of 20 associates to support staff consultants, this in turn will indeed lead to more project billing. It may of course be difficult to manage a large group of loosely committed associates and further objectives may be needed to communicate with them and incentivise them. This is of course what management is about and experience managers will understand what is necessary to build such a cadre and make them effective. Experience managers will understand how much effort such a group could provide and how effective they would be and indeed if 20 would be adequate.
So on the one hand neatly constructed individual goals will indeed aggregate to organisational goals whilst on the other there is some degree of messiness as managers express opinions about what will and will not contribute.