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Big Aims and Small Steps

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It’s not news that big goals can be daunting. Often, we find ourselves overwhelmed by our long term aims and
face failure in result of the associated anxiety we feel to quickly succeed. It can feel much the same within our
work team goals. The end goal is complex and can seem intangible without the right execution plan, but how do
you tackle the beast?

Creating small goals within your large goal can be the answer. Big wins are often an accumulation of small
successes. They drive you and your team forward through motivational moments of clarity. Small, measurable
goals show tangible results that ultimately lead teams to tackle bigger achievements.


Leaders are often responsible for core outcomes such as: quality outcomes, revenue, profits and people – just to
name a few! There are key strategies for addressing individual core responsibilities, such as Short Cycle Planning.
90 Day Short Cycles, also called Short Cycle Planning or Quarterly Strategy, help create smaller goals and
address your progress in 90-day cycles. These cycles do not need to fall exactly quarterly, and can be held every
45, 60, or 90 days – with the recommended cycle of 90 for maximum outcomes.

These quarterly strategy sessions should be based from your lead measures for annual goals and determine the
functionality of your strategy. Pick your ideal tools for measurement in order to operationalize your strategic plan.
Scorecards, for example, make it simple to map continuous improvement by progress monitoring. Remember,
there is not always one single right measure, choose the data you feel is most relevant to your action plan. You
may find the right measures will arise when you ask the obvious questions throughout your yearly progress.
The goal of each session should be to meet a milestone, or reach your small goal, and to monitor progress towards
the bigger goal. Questions such as these should be asked:

  • Did we make the right decision?
  • Did we execute well? If not…
  • Do we need to make adjustments?

These questions allow for focus and meaning in team conversations. In addition, it allows employees to see their
part in pursuit of the bigger goal and can be a time to celebrate wins.


Break down big goals.

Bigger goals become more manageable when broken up into smaller, less disconcerting, achievements. Apply this method to a personal goal as well.

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