Sang Yook: How to open up goal setting to make it a team building exercise

Sang Yook, Chief Strategy Officer, CorFire

The old management adage “You can’t manage what you can’t measure” is probably more apropos in today’s workplace than ever before. At a time when customers, board members, partners and other key stakeholders expect and demand quantifiable results, senior leaders are required to set measurable goals that aim high but, at the same time, are executable because they are backed by realistic, understandable strategies and tactics.

Although goal setting for most organizations is an ongoing process, the start of the new year — and for many, the start of the budgeting cycle — presents most organizations with a key opportunity to take a step back, examine what has worked and recalibrate the areas that need adjustment.

Transcend the boardroom

One of the key tenets in CorFire’s planning process is to think of goal setting as a team sport. In other words, involve key members of the organization to brainstorm and set long-term, short-term and immediate goals.

While one person within a department may have the ultimate responsibility for ensuring that these goals are met, securing buy-in from multiple team members helps create an atmosphere in which people are informed, engaged and passionate about doing their respective part to make sure goals are achieved.

More recently, this beyond-the-boardroom approach at CorFire has expanded to include partners and customers. While not specifically asking for their specific ideas on what our company’s goals should be, CorFire wants partners and customers to be an integral part of our broader community and, as such, to participate in ongoing discussions about what we are doing right and areas in which we can improve.

This feedback helps us set goals that are meaningful to internal and external audiences. It also leads to stronger connections across vertical markets, thus helping the company achieve success.

 Execute the plan

Once a clear plan is in place, organizations may want to aim big while starting small. A “begin with the basics” approach is often better from a strategic standpoint than a full-blown launch.

For example, when our customers are executing a mobile payment rollout, we recommend they start with basic technology with which their customers are familiar. In some cases, we recommend that these customers start out at a few locations, rather than many, to see what needs resetting.

Another key for setting measurable goals is to expect and plan for potential obstacles. Organizations may overlook this step or forego it because of concerns that it could show their goals are too lofty and thus set them back a few steps. In reality, this broader, realistic view of goal setting and execution gives everybody in the organization the latitude to view bumps in the road as navigable rather than insurmountable roadblocks.

Lastly, we look forward to a year in which we set and meet goals, but, as important, we celebrate these goals. For CorFire, this ongoing recognition of meeting goals in this exciting time in the mobile commerce arena will help us continue moving the needle in our space and give us the desire to set the bar higher in subsequent years. ●

Sang Yook is chief strategy officer of CorFire, the mobile commerce business unit of SK C&C USA. You can reach him at (770) 670-4700.