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What goals did you miss?
The board meetings I have been in the past week all included an annual review of the business and laid out the goals and milestones that…
The board meetings I have been in the past week all included an annual review of the business and laid out the goals and milestones that were hit in the last year.
In one of these meetings, after the company walked through the goals they had hit, another investor asked, “What goals did you miss?”
This was not asked to cut the founder down or to focus on the negative rather than the (significant) progress the company had made over the year. It was asked as a way to frame the thinking around goal setting at the company and to help improve the process for 2017.
If the answer to this question is none — and you met or exceeded all your goals, you didn’t set them high enough. You need to expect more, think bigger and reach further next year.
In this case, and I think for most founders, the answer was a few goals had been missed, with some ongoing projects and some that had been deprioritized due to lack of urgency or a shift in importance.
Priorities change at a startup and you need to constantly be re-focusing your team’s energy as the business and market evolve. But, this reality can hide operating challenges around priorities and capacity of your team.
If you could have hit the goals you missed and missed the ones you hit, would you be better off?
If most of your missed goals are ongoing projects that have taken longer than expected, is the team forecasting poorly or executing below expectations?
If the missed goals were de-prioritized throughout the year, why did this happen and how much work went into achieving each one prior to realizing it was no longer critical path for the company?
The take away here is to miss the right goals and to miss them in the right way. Maybe that will be my goal for 2017.