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Designing your Individual and Corporate Goals

27 Sep 2020

“What’s your 5 year goal?” A common question everyone prepares for at an interview - But can it be more than just that?


In the Harvard Business School MBA study on goal setting, the graduating class was asked a single question about their goals in life. The question was this:

Have you set written goals and created a plan for their attainment? 

Prior to graduation, it was determined that:

  • 84% of the entire class had set no goals at all
  • 13% of the class had set written goals but had no concrete plans
  • 3% of the class had both written goals and concrete plans


10 years later, the 13% of the class that had set written goals but had not created plans, were making twice as much money as the 84% of the class that had set no goals at all. The 3% of the class that had both written goals and a plan, were making ten times as much as the rest of the 97% of the class.

The importance of goals

Regardless of whether you believe the above is true, goals are important for you to take ownership of your future. Goals need to hold a profound meaning in your life, or when times are tough as they often will be on the road to your aspirational goals, you will not be able to rise above it if they are just superficial ones.

Goals help you chart a course of action, week on week and month on month, without which you are directionless. 

Designing your Goals

  • Visualize the achievement Don’t just visualize your goal, pen down the emotion that comes with it - Every detail you specify brings you close to that reality. If it’s buying your first home, write down the number of rooms it has, the colour of paint on the wall. The layout of the kitchen or the design of the garden. A vision board is usually a great way to get started with this step
  •  Choose your words wisely - This step always reminds me of the genie in the lamp. Your mind is very powerful and needs you to articulate every step with no wiggle room in understanding. They are your goals and your words. Regardless of meaning each word holds a certain energy and meaning unique to you.
  • Realistic Time Frame - An Entrepreneur always overestimates what they can do in one month and under estimates what they can do in 2 years. Goals are no different, while a shorter time frame can be challenging and exciting, they also need to be achievable & more importantly try not to set them on New Years Eve (New Years Syndrome) - It’s important to consider all the events going on in your life & business, the commitments and implications before you arrive at a deadline.
  • Goal-setting is an ongoing learning process - As you continue to develop and transform in every aspect of your life, there will be unexpected things that happen, make sure you are always open to noticing them. These by-products can sometimes be more important than your original goal and would not have risen if you didn’t put your original goal in motion.
  • Share your goals - You are the sum of your 5 closest friends; it’s more than likely that your friend circle will change as a result of surrounding yourself with people that inspire you and help you reach your goals. Don’t be dismayed by it - Transformation requires you to make hard choices along the way, a key reason why your goals has to mean more than you thinking “its cool” or it making you look good in front of others.

How are Corporate Goals Different?

Corporate goals are slightly different as they tend to reflect the organizational structure

Types of organizational structures

  • Hierarchical org structure
  • Functional org structure
  • Horizontal or flat org structure
  • Divisional org structures (market-based, product-based, geographic)
  • Matrix org structure
  • Team-based org structure
  • Network org structure

Each individual's objectives will reflect the departmental goals & those inturn will reflect those of the business unit or geography it reports to. The key to a well designed goal, is picking the right objective. Often small medium businesses pick a revenue goal. This often leads to un-inspiring results where friction replaces creativity.

Revenue is a byproduct of innovation. In the example above Google focuses on growing its subscriber base for Chrome browsers - Google’s search engine is built directly into the URL entry on the browser, which in turn processes all of your requests, even if they are misspelled, hence Improving its advertising business (Google Ads) - Google’s leading revenue generator & currently ubiquitous with digital advertising. 

A well designed goal, not only helps you achieve it, but creates more opportunities or by products along the way for you and your business



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