It’s simple, really.

I have a clear vision for the summer: complete six triathlons. I have my training strategy designed. I have my weekly workouts and plans in place. It looks like I have put together a great overall change plan. I have a vision, I am motivated, and yet I am still struggling to get to the pool. My swims just don’t feel right and with all the conflicting priorities from my work schedule and familyTrain schedule it has become too easy to believe I am too busy to get to the pool. Moving from strategy to true engagement has been derailed.

Mark Effron, the author of One Page Talent Management, believes that leaders derail their people during change in a similar way by over-complicating the goals needed to accomplish the change strategy. We actually make it hard for our people to change instead of making it easier. Effron suggests that we use SIMple goals. Make them:

  • Specific – clear and short
  • Important – meaningful to the person and what is important to them
  • Measurable – observable, behavioral

This looks easy to do and makes sense but in our leadership roles we have so much extra background information and details pressing on us that we can inadvertently add them to our messages and the goals we set. Taking a step back, pausing, and asking yourself, “Am I making this goal SIMple?” will make it a much more powerful and effective goal.

Elbow higher than wrist, wrist higher than fingers. That SIMple goal from a blog I follow helped me get back in the pool this week. It is clear, crucial to my success, and easy to observe. What SIMple goal will move your change initiatives forward?

Todd Thorsgaard




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