Anti-Goals: How to stop your team doing the things they hate
Read time: 2.5 minutes
In today’s issue, I will show you how to improve team performance using “Anti-Goals”.
Most teams set goals by thinking through what they want to achieve and do.
After setting goals, they then determine how to achieve and measure them.
What if you started with things you DON’T want to happen?
The idea is that if you stop doing those things, it will free up time for you to focus on what gives you the most pleasure and has the most impact.
That’s what anti-goals are.
Sound good? Let’s set some anti-goals.
Step 1: List “bad” tasks
Brainstorm what you don’t like doing as a team.
Start with the prompt “We don’t like …”.
They might be tasks you find annoying. Or tasks that suck up a lot of time. Or tasks that have little impact on helping you achieve your Key Performance Indicators (KPIs).
Some examples might be:
We don’t like everyone being obligated to attend weekly strategy meetings.
We don’t like long virtual meetings.
We don’t like calling unhappy customers only to be shouted at.
Step 2: Create solutions
Create a solution for each starting with “We’re not going to…” or “We won’t…”
Make sure you’re fixing the root causes rather than the symptoms. Use a root cause analysis process like Five Whys if necessary.
So our examples might change to:
We don’t like everyone being obligated to attend weekly strategy meetings → We won’t attend regular meetings as a team anymore. Instead, we’ll send a representative if attendance is required.
We don’t like long virtual meetings → We won’t have virtual meetings that last longer than 30 mins from now on.
We don’t like calling unhappy customers only to be shouted at → We won’t call customers until support give us a solution to their problem that we’re sure they’ll be happy with.
Step 3: Agree how you will achieve each “anti-goal”
The next step is to agree on how you will achieve your anti-goals.
Here’s what our examples might change to:
We won’t attend regular meetings as a team anymore. Instead, we’ll send a representative if attendance is required → Assess each meeting to see whether attendance is necessary. Send 1 person if it is. Rotate who that is each week.
We won’t have virtual meetings that last longer than 30 mins from now on → Eliminate all meetings longer than 30 mins from our calendar.
We won’t call customers until support give us a solution to their problem that we’re sure they’ll be happy with → Help support create a new process that includes a solution before being passed to us to call the customer.
Step 4: Do the actions
The last step is to do the actions you agreed to in the step before.
After taking action on the Hows you will remove lots of actions from your team’s calendar and task list.
That will free up time to work on the things that have the biggest impact and give you the most pleasure.
And results will surely improve.
I hope you’ll have success setting anti-goals in the future.
That’s it for today!
I hope you enjoyed it.
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