flevyblog

Flevy Blog is an online business magazine covering Business Strategies, Business Theories, & Business Stories.
MANAGEMENT & LEADERSHIP STRATEGY, MARKETING, SALES OPERATIONS & SUPPLY CHAIN ORGANIZATION & CHANGE IT/MIS Other

When FAST Beats SMART: The Strategic Method to Goal Setting

Goal Setting used to be done in a conventional way. Managers hold one-on-one meetings with their subordinates to set goals. Performances are reviewed against objectives and these are linked to promotion and bonus decisions. The same managers aspire their goals to be SMART – specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and time-bound. But this conventional wisdom of goal setting rarely asks the fundamental question – does it work? The traditional approach to goals cannot ensure successful strategy execution. An alternative is necessary.

Bullseye! In executing a strategy, leaders must set ambitious targets. This must be translated into specific metrics and milestones. It must be made transparent throughout the organization and progress are discussed frequently. SMART is what it used to be. FAST is what is today — the FAST Method to Goal Setting.

SMART vs. FAST

SMART means Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Time-bound.  It is a key underlying concept to Peter Drucker’s Management by Objectives (MBO) framework.

The SMART Method is conventional wisdom of goal setting that undervalues ambition, focus narrowly on individual performance, and ignores the importance of discussing goals throughout the year.

To drive strategy execution, leaders should set goals that are FAST – Frequently discussed, Ambitious, Specific, and Transparent.

The Fast Method to Goal Setting

Goals can drive strategy execution. But this is only possible when goals are aligned with strategic priorities, account for critical interdependence across silos, and enable course corrections as circumstances change. A new approach has been pioneered that has 4 core principles for effective goals system. This is the FAST Method.

  1.  Frequently discussed
    Frequently discussed goals are focused and aligned with the strategic vision of our organization.
  2.  Ambitious
    The critical role of Ambition is to set effective goals. Ambitious goals boost the performance of individuals and teams.
  3. Specific
    Specific goals can help identify what is not working and is quickly corrected. It clarifies what employees are expected to deliver.
  4.  Transparent
    When there is transparency, goals and current performance are made public for all employees to see. This makes use of peer pressure to make everyone perform on goals.

In the spectrum, the FAST Method is here to stay. Companies in dynamic sectors are now setting goals more frequently. Setting and reviewing goals on a quarterly basis provide organizations more opportunities to make course corrections throughout the year. The world of business has become highly volatile. Dynamic sectors such as Media, Information Technology, and Financial sectors are pressured to regularly review and update their goals to be attuned with the changing environment and keep themselves on top of the race. While SMART is good, FAST is better.

The FAST Method to Goal Setting keeps companies always on the go and in control of their environment. They have set their goal on a winning streak on a fast lane where competition is at its stiffest. When things get rough, the FAST Method to Goal Setting is the way to go. It works!

Interested in gaining more understanding of the FAST Method to Goal Setting? You can learn more and download an editable PowerPoint about FAST Method to Goal Setting  here on the Flevy documents marketplace.

Are you a management consultant?

You can download this and hundreds of other consulting frameworks and consulting training guides from the FlevyPro library.

About Joseph Robinson

Joseph Robinson is the Vice President of Strategy at Flevy. Flevy is the marketplace for best practices in business management. Learn how the Fortune 100 and global consulting firms do it. Improve the growth and efficiency of your organization by leveraging Flevy's library of best practice methodologies and templates. The documents at Flevy (https://flevy.com) are of the same caliber as those produced by top-tier management consulting firms, like McKinsey, BCG, Bain, and Accenture. Most were developed by seasoned executives and consultants with 20+ years of experience. Flevy covers 200+ management topics, ranging from Digital Transformation to Growth Strategy to Lean Management. You can peruse a full list of management topics available on Flevy here. Prior to Flevy, Joseph worked as an Associate at BCG and holds an MBA from the Sloan School of Management at MIT. You can connect with Joseph on LinkedIn here.

,




Complimentary Business Training Guides


Many companies develop robust strategies, but struggle with operationalizing their strategies into implementable steps. This presentation from flevy introduces 12 powerful business frameworks spanning both Strategy Development and Strategy Execution. [Learn more]   This 48-page whitepaper, authored by consultancy Envisioning, provides the frameworks, tools, and insights needed to manage serious Change—under the backdrop of the business lifecycle. These lifecycle stages are each marked by distinct attributes, challenges, and behaviors. [Learn more]
We've developed a very comprehensive collection of Strategy & Transformation PowerPoint templates for you to use in your own business presentations, spanning topics from Growth Strategy to Brand Development to Innovation to Customer Experience to Strategic Management. [Learn more]   We have compiled a collection of 10 Lean Six Sigma templates (Excel) and Operational Excellence guides (PowerPoint) by a multitude of LSS experts. These tools cover topics including 8 Disciplines (8D), 5 Why's, 7 Wastes, Value Stream Mapping (VSM), and DMAIC. [Learn more]
Recent Articles by Corporate Function

  

  

  

  

  


The Flevy Business Blog (http://flevy.com/blog) is a leading source of information on business strategies, business theories, and business stories. Most articles have been contributed for management consultants and industry executives with over 20 years of experience. If you would like to contribute an article, please email our editor David Tang at [email protected].

Flevy (http://flevy.com) is the marketplace for premium business documents, such as management frameworks, presentation templates, and financial models. Our documents are of the same caliber produced by top tier consulting firms, like McKinsey, Bain, Accenture, BCG, and Deloitte. Learn more about Flevy here.


Connect with Flevy:

   
  


About Flevy.com   /   Terms   /   Privacy Policy
© 2019. Flevy LLC. All Rights Reserved.