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Does setting objectives work?

For some people YES. For some situations YES

For others NO.

Setting objectives only works for everyone, if...

  • each person the objective relates to understands it

  • they can relate to it and it is meaningful

  • they feel that they could achieve it because they have access to the right resources, including people, knowledge, skills and tools.

Setting objectives that people can't relate to or understand become meaningless.

Objective setting is about establishing something that is easy to comprehend that is meaningful about where you are heading.

Every one of us, goes through our day (or night) with objectives in our mind.

Sometimes its a quite straightforward objective, such as to get through the day without any major hiccups! Pay our electric bill at the end of the month. We set ourselves objectives to feed ourselves and others, look after our wellbeing for example taking a break, going for a short walk etc. So setting ourselves objectives is something as humans we are used to doing. Something to note though, we are far more effective setting short term objectives that mid to longer term ones.

For some reason though, organisations forget the basic principles, setting objectives that are complicated, not meaningful, misunderstood or in some cases, not even communicated to the right people at the right time.

So in a nutshell, Objectives can be useful if they are

  • short term

  • meaningful

  • easily understood

  • are relatable

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