05 Feb Clear Line of Sight to True North
“What gets measured gets done; what gets recognized gets done even better.” – (Unknown)
Mostly large organizations have a Strategic Plan and a Business Plan, and small and medium sized enterprises have a Business Plan. These plans set out the organization’s goals and objectives and provide a framework or a hierarchy of objectives.
Managers, teams and individuals need to understand how their roles and responsibilities are aligned to these plans. This is achieved through a set of performance objectives which provides a clear ‘line of sight’ linking individual, team and organisational performance.
This is known as a ‘Clear Line of Sight to True North’. True North is what the organization is aiming to achieve – its direction, its plans and strategies. True North provides a reference point for managers when planning and making decisions, in the same way as a compass setting provides a physical reference point when navigating.
Higher level objectives such as strategic or longer-term objectives provide the framework for operational, departmental and individual objectives. By making sure that all objectives, no matter at what level, support the achievement of higher level objectives, it is possible to ensure that the entire workforce of an organization is working towards True North.
Objectives can be work-related, referring to the results to be attained, or personal, taking the form of developmental objectives for individuals. Objectives should relate to the overall purpose of the job role and define performance areas – all the aspects of the job role that contribute to achieving its overall purpose. Targets then need to be set for each performance area, for example, ‘increase sales by x per cent’, ‘reduce wastage by y per cent’.
 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey