Mike Faith, an EO San Francisco member, and CEO of Headsets.com
At Headsets.com, we’re approaching that time when we start creating our new management plan. Over the years, I’ve established five essential guidelines to help us create a plan that will not only be realistic but also engage and motivate employees:
1. The management plan fits with the financial plan.
If the link between any objective and the overall financial plan is not obvious, do we really need that objective?
2. The management plan summarizes individual plans for how to attain each objective.
It’s fine if objectives are stretching, but it is business suicide when they are unrealistic. Thus, I produce individual plans for each of our major objectives. The important thing is to avoid creating objectives that are not backed up by a realistic plan for how to achieve them. Thus, we ensure that our management plan is rooted in reality.
3. Maintain focus.
It’s easy to brainstorm a long wish list of targets, goals and objectives, but companies never have the money or manpower to achieve everything they wish. That means we must sacrifice some lesser objectives in order to achieve the really important ones.
4. Create belief, exploit belief.
People rarely achieve objectives when they think they can’t. Impossible goals or deadlines lead to disappointment, dissatisfaction, failure and a dispirited team. Therefore, I’m prepared to invest time in making sure that our objectives for the company plus each manager’s individual goals are stretching enough to inspire them to strive for success but realistic enough to inspire confidence.
5. Respect the Rule of Five.
I’ve found that the limit for effective working is five goals. When we tell our people about more than five company goals, they do not even remember them, let alone achieve them. We sacrifice or postpone the other objectives and just focus on the most important five. After one of those five has been achieved, I then add an extra objective into the mix.
Well, that’s how we approach our management plan at Headsets.com and I hope you find it as liberating as we do.