Setting goals in business is both an art and a science. How does this work?
The art of setting goals exists inside the realms of creative and intuitive thinking. The science of goal setting is the mathematics and calculations of the goal setting itself.
Let us examine this further and how it applies to your business.
The Art of Setting Goals is not easy to replicate, non-linear, and quite often unpredictable. It is the language of visionaries and dreamers. In business these people are called executives. It is these people who make stuff up.
Why is this important for your business?
Setting goals on something that is predictable and produces the same results over and over again - while immensely valuable for any business - is insufficient in a hypercompetitive marketplace. Today, executives are required to shift the direction, create a new product or service or invent new markets simply to stay in business. The catch to operating this way is that to authentically create goals requires courage. Without courage there is just a repetition of the old - more of the same. A famous example of this is JFK declaring there will be a man on the moon by the end of the decade (1960s) at a time when that seemed impossible. Not even the scientists at NASA knew how to reach that goal! This goal was a true creation.
However, once a spark is ignited and a bold new goal is declared, it is the "science of setting goals" that defines the goal in a way that it can be reached.
If "the art of setting goals" is about creativity and invention then "the science of setting goals" is based on reproducing proven results from the past - again and again. Science is specific, measurable and time-bound. It is about what works in reality. It takes the creative courageous spark of the executive (as in JFK's bold declaration of sending a man to the moon) and converts it into logical, replicable, linear and sequential processes and procedures that people can follow - so that a rocket can be launched into space and men can walk on the moon!
Naturally, there are calculations and mathematics required in science. In business this is the language of middle management. If executives invent and create a future for people to play inside of, it is the work of management to ensure that the future works in the most effective way possible. In business this means being profitable and having an environment or culture that accounts for people's experience.
Management creates a predictable structure
Why is this important?
In order for a business to work it requires predictability and a methodology that produces results consistently. This is what allows for a business to grow and ‘stabilize.'
So, what's the catch with all of this type of thinking? If you are a business and you stop setting new goals, having new dreams, then the organization will grow old really fast.
When you set goals you must consider both the art and science of a goal, and how it will impact the development of your business.
Setting goals is "rocket-science"
For your business to work properly, it requires both the "art of setting goals" (executive mindset) and "the science of setting goals" (manager mindset) to participate in goal setting, although these discussions may happen at two different times.
When this happens, a business with clear, well-thought out goals based in both "art" and in "science," has a higher chance of reaching orbit and shooting for the moon.