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Means and Aims

Most of the companies work with the next operation model: Definition of the objective (What are we going to do?), plan development to make them real (How do we make it?) and implementation of the plan (Action!). The first stage concerns the top managers, the second middle managers and specialists and the third the field workers.

Once the goals are settled by the direction, the machine is set out and ALL the companies resources are commited: Time, money and personal energy.

An error from a field worker can normally be easily fixed; from a specialist can be expensive. But, what happens when the goals are not the right ones? The consequences could be catastrophic for the company.

How could we then minimize the risk when we set the company´s goals?

Here I emphasize some tips that could be good to read before entering a management´s meeting:

  • Take time to define the goals. It´s a creative process, with trial and error. In the discussion process we have to leave our ego at the door. The best idea must win, not the biggest ego or the person with the highest rank.

  • Always ask yourself  these questions: Why is this goal important? Is there anything more important or urgent than this goal? This goal... is interesting for the company... or for me?

  • Don´t mistake means with aims. The goals must be clear and contribute as ditectly as possible for the improvement of the situation of our present and future clients and our company. Remodelling the facility is a mean, but never can be an aim. A goal could be, for example, to increase the market share of a private hospital. Improvement of patient traffic could diminish the waiting time; this could lead to higher client satisfaction and probably the market share. But perhaps an architectonic redesign is not the best solution, but a new software to improve the appointmets management. Or a new advertising campaign or an effort to get more contracts from the medical insurance companies. All of it are means, but not goals. If our goal is clear (increase market share) we can change very fast our means if the results are not the desired. If we hang on to means, as if they are the ends and we are wrong, then we are lost.

Why then are so many companies focused on the means and not on the goals?

Because it´s easy to be confused between to be busy and to be effective. When you are busy you feel useful, but that alone gets you nowhere. When we are busy with the right activity we are effective and go directly to