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Clear Strategic Planning Goals Produce Results

Organizations that execute with excellence focus on a handful of clear goals and align the focus of every department and employee to those few goals. Take FranklinCovey Co. and Harris Interactive, Inc., as examples. They conducted a study to test the gap between goal setting and the actual achievement of those goals in various companies. With more than 11,000 respondents, the results shed light on issues around planning for organizations with multiple levels and departments.

Here’s what the study found:

  • Lack of clarity: Only one in six workers thinks his organization sets clear goals, and fewer than half say they understand what their companies are trying to achieve.

  • Wasting time on non-critical tasks: By their own account, respondents spend only 49 percent of their time on crucial organizational goals. One hour out of three is spent on urgent but irrelevant tasks, such as checking e-mail. One hour in five is wasted dealing with pointless bureaucracy issues, such as politicking and attending unproductive meetings.

    By having a strategic plan that everyone buys in to and understands, you can increase time spent on the crucial aspects of your organization.

  • No accountability: Only about 50 percent of all respondents said that they feel accountable for performance. They’re rarely, if ever, called on to report progress.

  • No line of sight between organizational goals and work: Only 20 percent of people have clearly defined work goals, and 10 percent clearly understand how work relates to the organization’s top priorities.

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