Archive for June, 2010

5 reasons people fail to meet their goals

June 29, 2010 2 comments


By following the acronym S.M.A.R.T., one can avoid setting oneself for failure. S.M.A.R.T. stand for specific, measurable, attainable, result oriented and timely goals. This subject of goal setting inevitably comes up as I work with companies and their executives. It seems to be the exercise of choice for a strategic planning session, yet many of these goals go unmet.

Goal setting has the tendency to bring out the finger-pointing-blame-game in some people. During my years as a consultant, executives and managers would share a list of historical and lofty goals with me…which have usually gone unmet. The general feelings are “if I do not do it myself, it will not get done”…at least not get done properly. I am sure you have seen that. This causes disillusionment and saps moral and motivation.

The reasons companies/executives fail to meet their goals are many. Here are 5:

1. They are not SPECIFIC enough.

2. They are not MEASURABLE or being measured.

3. They are not attainable or ACHIEVABLE. They may be too lofty or idealistic.

4. They have not identified the RESULTS they want to achieve.

5. Finally, they do not TIME or have a deadline for meeting those goals.

Jim Flowers, the Executive Director for the Virginia Tech Knowledge Works at the Corporate Research Center, is often heard saying, “Inherent in every goal is permission to stop trying”. The first time I had the chance to hear it was at an Entrepreneur Summit in 2009. His alternative to “setting goals” was “making commitments”.

This reminds me of the World Cup Soccer games taking place in South Africa. Why does the US team consistently concede the first goal to the other team? Is this the underdog mindset? Even the commentators say, “It seems like the team is still on the bus during the first half.” Can this be a commitment issue? What would be necessary for then to be willing to take and maintain the lead?

Ask yourself the same questions: What is preventing you from meeting and exceeding your goals?

Allan is available for consulting/coaching and can be reached here.


5 Steps to Communicating Your Value Effectively

June 14, 2010 Leave a comment

Communicating value can be construed as self-promotion and for most of us, that can be distasteful. I am going to share how that can be done in a modest, honest and genuine way.

1. To convey information about; make known; impart; reveal clearly; manifest.
2. To have an interchange, as of ideas; to express oneself in such a way that one is readily and clearly understood.

1. An amount, as of goods, services, or money, considered to be a fair and suitable equivalent for something else; a fair price or return.
2. Worth in usefulness or importance to the possessor; considered worthwhile or desirable.

Communicating value is therefore about identifying what your audience perceives as worthwhile, and then connects with and reveals it to them clearly. The audience can be your customers, your team, your boss or your client.

There are basic principles to follow whether communicating the value of a company, its products, its services or for that of an individual. Today, I would be addressing that of an executive, or a founder that is facing change (such as re-organizational changes). Knowing the answers to the following 5 questions will help you get started:

What are your Audience’s wants? In our current market, there is the necessity to be more specific, more narrow and with laser-like focus in order to map your distinctive competencies against your audience’s needs. Here your audience may be your boss, the board of directors, your company, or to the community.

What are your Capabilities? Instead of listing all your features or skills, think of what those skills and features have helped you achieve or accomplish. This is the “what” of what you do. Another way to look at it is, “What were the successful outcomes”

What is your Value proposition? (Competitive edge). Develop a compelling set of distinct competencies that will enable you to deliver your product and services that your audience values. What does your audience get by using/hiring/keeping you? What unique abilities do you have that others that could occupy your position do not? Why is it meaningful and relevant to them…today?

How to price to communicate your value? Be sure to price your services appropriately? Would you value your education if it cost nothing? Proper pricing takes into account all of the above – your capabilities, your benefits, your strength, your competitors, your needs, your brand, and your market.

What types of benefits are you communicating? Communicate to your audience the benefits of owning/using/hiring you/your services, whether functional, emotional or both.

Emotional benefits can be extremely powerful and are hard to copy since they have both an intrinsic and extrinsic value. The intrinsic ones makes the customer feel good about working with you whereas the extrinsic ones makes the customer feel good about expressing to others that he owns and uses your product or service (e.g conspicuous consumption or those that have an altruistic value).

This is quite evident with the ownership of luxury cars or those that give to the Sierra Club. However in this economy, financial concerns have buyers running more numbers with ROI always in the forefront so you have to have a positive, measurable, business outcome.
So, go ahead and let others know what you do. Instead of self-promotion, follow the above steps and embrace value-communication by communicating your capabilities, your benefits and value to your audience.

…And finally, make sure your Message is:
1. Simple and easy to repeat, by you and others
2. Effectively conveys your competencies and benefits
3. Meaningful and relevant to audience

Allan is available for consulting/coaching and can be reached here.

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