Expectations play a significant role in our daily lives. The thrill of anticipation often surpasses the actual experience itself. This phenomenon is due to the way dopamine works in our brains. We quickly move on to anticipating the next event, leaving the current one feeling underwhelming. Even walking on the moon left astronauts feeling underwhelmed, raising questions about our own earthly goals and expectations.

Aviral Vaid

Hatched by Aviral Vaid

May 15, 2024

3 min read

0

Expectations play a significant role in our daily lives. The thrill of anticipation often surpasses the actual experience itself. This phenomenon is due to the way dopamine works in our brains. We quickly move on to anticipating the next event, leaving the current one feeling underwhelming. Even walking on the moon left astronauts feeling underwhelmed, raising questions about our own earthly goals and expectations.

The urge to stick to familiar routines and resist change is a strong force. People don't like to be told that they've been doing things wrong. However, this mindset can prevent personal growth and limit our potential. Taking risks and stepping out of our comfort zones is essential for personal development. No one is exempt from being humbled, and it is through humbling experiences that we learn and grow.

When it comes to setting goals, the biggest failure point lies in the execution rather than the strategy itself. Goal-setting is a complex process that requires excellence in both strategy and execution. It involves understanding the overarching strategy, making thoughtful decisions about objectives, and creating a practical plan.

To avoid falling into the trap of wishful thinking, it is crucial to frame goals effectively. This means understanding what the right objectives are in the first place. Discovery goals can provide insights that inform a meaningful strategy. Input goals ensure the availability of necessary resources to make progress. Output goals focus on flawless execution of the strategy. Lastly, outcome goals demonstrate the intended impact of the strategy.

Rather than having each function or team set their own goals independently, collaboration is key. Cross-functional teams should collectively set goals and co-own the outcomes. This approach fosters collaboration and ensures that success requires teamwork.

OKRs (Objectives and Key Results) have become a widely used framework for goal setting in tech companies. They provide a way to frame audacious goals and ensure organizational alignment. Objectives outline what needs to be accomplished, while key results explain how to achieve those objectives. However, OKRs were not designed to be a complete system for cross-functional product teams.

NCTs (Narratives, Commitments, and Tasks) offer a three-part framework for setting better goals. Narratives provide a qualitative description of what the team aims to achieve and connect the goals to the overall product and company strategies. Commitments are measurable goals that the team commits to achieving within a specific timeframe. Tasks outline the necessary work to complete the commitments and achieve the narrative.

By using narratives, commitments, and tasks, teams can ensure a strong connection between goals and strategies. Narratives provide a long-term perspective, reducing the need for constant pivoting from quarter to quarter. Commitments provide clarity about the next steps needed to make progress on the strategy, while tasks lay out actionable plans.

While it is essential to track progress and hold teams accountable, adaptability is equally important. Teams should be able to recognize when they are stuck and ask for additional support to move forward. Creating an environment that fosters adaptability and encourages sustainable goals is crucial.

In conclusion, setting goals that align with strategies and ensuring successful execution is a complex process. By framing goals effectively, using frameworks like NCTs, and fostering collaboration, teams can improve their goal-setting practices. Here are three actionable pieces of advice:

  • 1. Embrace change and take risks: Stepping out of your comfort zone is essential for personal growth. Embrace new experiences and challenges, even if they may humble you.
  • 2. Foster collaboration and shared ownership: Rather than setting goals independently, encourage cross-functional teams to collaborate and co-own the outcomes. This fosters teamwork and ensures success requires collaboration.
  • 3. Use frameworks like NCTs: Consider using frameworks like NCTs to set better goals. Narratives, commitments, and tasks provide a comprehensive approach to goal-setting, ensuring a strong connection between goals and strategies.

By implementing these actionable tips, individuals and teams can improve their goal-setting practices and achieve greater success in their endeavors.

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