Should goals be announced?

Should goals be announced?

The topic of this buzz is challenging to me and I needed to pool my courage to write this buzz. The buzz goes against prevailing wisdom in that it promotes the idea of keeping goals hidden from employees and customers. So, why have SMART goals?

There are reasons for my advocacy. First, curiosity attracts people to find what is hidden from them. Second, it is impractical to set fixed goals in a business climate in which nothing is permanent, but change. This can be quite stressing for employees to see that they are drifting away from goals for reasons beyond their control. Not only the employees shall get stressed, but they may also develop the tendency to blame each other. Once a blaming culture develops the underlying values and assumptions of the organization shall deteriorate and its gluing culture shall lose its binding value. The complexity of life and businesses make the idea of having fixed goals simply an obsolete one. The prevalence of blame culture will lead to mistrust and loafing (Loafing is the tendency for individuals to lessen their effort when they are part of a group – also as the Ringelmann Effect). The organization shall end up in chaos.

I thank Donna-Luisa Eversley for reminding me of simple facts. She wrote that in "In my country there is a saying, “if you have cocoa in the sun, look out for rain” – this means if you have something to hide always be prepared to be discovered, thus being defensive". The rain will spoil the cocoa that has been put out in the sun to dry. Likewise; we spoil employees by trying to dry them by setting gals in rainy climates. Or, what we attempt is like yeast that turns sugars into alcohol in percentages greater than 15% and the yeast die.

Plants teach us some interesting lessons that foster curiosity to their advantage. Plants don't reveal their goals. They hide them to achieve them. The hidden goal of plants is to disperse their seed during certain times. How plants do that? You use a trick. They produce a gas that accelerates the ripening and hence the sweetness of their fruits. The gas turns the sour acids of the plants into sweet sugar. Animals that seek the ripened fruits also have the seeds of the plants stick to their bodies. They enjoy the fruit, but they also disperse the seeds of the host plant. The animals go for the fruits because they know "what is in it for me"? The plants know what the animal distributor searches for without telling the animals what their hidden goals are. The plants know how to sugar-coat their hidden goals.

Give people whether employees or customers what they want in which is embedded what you want- your goal.
Ali Anani, PhD

Tomatoes offer a great example of what I mean. With roughly 400 acids, sugars and other volatile elements comprising the tomato it is not surprising that they can be a complex thing to harvest. The constantly varying ratios of these unstable compounds within the tomato dictate what the state of your final crop will be. The color change from green to red, for example, is indicative of a chemical transition within the fruit, as the acid balance moves from the weaker malic acid to the sharper citric acid concentration, and the dominant sugars are shifting from glucose to the sweeter fructose. Tomatoes make convertible sugars and we too need to make convertible sugary goals. The outside skins of tomatoes reflect their ripening and maturity. We need to see the matured skins of organizations and necessarily what goes inside. To show customers wrinkled skins of organization is simply a way to repel them. Setting goals in highly volatile business climates and defeating business cultures shall lead to the appearance of wrinkled skins that have been dried for too long by trying to achieve fixed goals.


We need different thinking to achieve the challenges of businesses and life. Like tomatoes have four hundred different chemicals in their bodies that change as the climate changes, so we too. We have four hundred variables at least and reaching a fixed outcome regardless of the climate will only spoil the culture of the businesses.

We need to attract customers like plants attract their seed-dispersing animals (customers).



Jean L. Serio CPC, CeMA 23/1/2017 · #44

#43 So true, Ali. Announced company goals, allow employees to feel an 'equal' member of the company. And definitely make employees feel as if these are their goals, too. And, as you say "own them".

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hank you dear @Jean L. Serio, CPC, CMC and in particular for your ingredients of success "Know, Like and Trust factors". I tried to highlight when the internal goals mad be hidden for a good cause. Te way you described how announced goals are developed in successful companies make the employees feel they own the goals. So, if goals are declared they should be owned by employees for them to be successful. I thank you Jean for your remarkable feedback.

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Jean L. Serio CPC, CeMA 23/1/2017 · #42

Thank you, Ali, for this most interesting article. Regarding sharing company goals - while many companies do like to keep goals private, unwilling to share them with employees for their own unique reasons, not to mention fear those goals will be discovered by the competition, sharing is better from a variety of standpoints. Companies I've worked for, as well as top brands like Macys, Starbucks, Oracle, regularly share goals. Department heads meet weekly with employees to discuss those goals and query them regarding actions that department, or each employee, can take to help meet those goals; at the next meeting they share how they reached those goals; often refining them and putting them to use daily. This helps expand team effort, provides reachable goals, and further encourages employees to produce a better quality of work, for example. On the other hand, when you share your company's goals with your customer base, as do many fast food companies, and brands like Ford and GM do, you are continuing to develop the all-important Know, Like and Trust factors. Thank you once again Ali, for a share which encourages us to question accepted norms as gospel.

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My dear friend @Emilia M. Ludovino responded with a wonderful buzz to this buzz. Her buzz on "S.M.A.R.T. GOALS or NOBLE GOALS – What's yours"? is worthy of your quality reading time. here is the link:
https://www.bebee.com/producer/@emilia-ludovino/s-m-a-r-t-goals-or-noble-goals-what-s-yours#c1

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#39 I shall not dispute what you wrote "Although most of the resignations were addressed by "for personal reasons",in reality I discovered that they had left the company not only because of the rewards,but also the company's rigid rules and the emergence of circles of political influence around the CEO". I left a gorgeous job for the same reason.
I need not remind the reader that plants attract pollinators by providing them with a sweet stuff. As for CEOs who try to keep and attract talents by using repelling approaches and still hope to keep and attract talents is an example of lousy management. Bees go for flowers and not for garbage orgainizations.

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Mohammed Sultan 23/1/2017 · #39

#36 Nobody will know better about personal branding than creative marketers who know how to position themselves in the mind of the employers.The issue here is different.Personalities that leads to conflict or polarization rather than building common interests is a failure.Hidden goals that are always associated with motivation or perception is something else.In my career 30+ years in qualitative research I tended to uncover people latent demand and articulate consumers perceptions and behavior that are already exist,but are not either aware of or able to articulate.
As a facilitator concerned with org structures and the fit and balance between peoples core skills and core interests and the org cultures and processes,I tended to listen to many talents who quit their organizations "for personal reasons?"by digging down in their minds to find out the hidden reasons behind their decisions. I often was struck with answers more reflective to the culture of innovation,motivation and compensations.
In another situation I was asked by an electronic company to examine why many of its most talented engineers were leaving for their competitive companies.Although most of the resignations were addressed by "for personal reasons",in reality I discovered that they had left the company not only because of the rewards,but also the company's rigid rules and the emergence of circles of political influence around the CEO.

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#32 Love your example of the role of some elements in our bodies and relating this purposefully to managing organizations. Thank you dear @debasish majumder for writing a deep-sense comment.

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Devesh 🐝 Bhatt 23/1/2017 · #37

#35 office as an aggregate of the minds involved.
Sometimes segregating them solves the purpose, Goal setting requires aggregation, or so I assume, until you unfold a grander revelation.

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