We’re one quarter into 2008: How’s the progress towards those goals you and your finance staffers set for the year? The good news: There’s still plenty of time to get or make sure you stay on track.
First step: Make sure your goals in are writing. That’s the best way to keep accountability high. But how you write them is even more critical than the fact that you write them at all.
Using the STAR format can help, says Dennis Roming in his book Side by Side Leadership. Take a gander at your existing goals to make sure they’re:
Specific – You don’t want a lot of wiggle room. Everyone should interpret your goals the same way.
Time-based – A concrete time frame keeps everyone’s eyes on the prize. Your best bet: Set goals to be completed no later than Jan. 1, 2009.
Aligned – Finance certainly doesn’t operate in a vacuum these days; neither should its goals. Anything you set out to do should mesh with and even further the bigger picture for your organization.
Reach-out. A slam dunk won’t leave people with much to strive for. But make goals too unattainable and staffers won’t even bother. The best goals strike the right balance between both.
And be sure to revisit your progress often so staffers know how close they’re getting. Maybe you’ll even decide they need to make a shift in their approach to get there. Better now than later when it’s too late in the game to attain the goal.