Brainstorming Goals

Why would an organization brainstorm goals?

Defining and achieving goals ultimately determines if your organization is successful; they challenge the employees, increase morale, provide job satisfaction, give your company direction and purpose, and allow for more robust planning. Without these guiding principles most organizations will not thrive for long. There is more to running a company than simply watching the bottom line.

Top management should require bold objectives be set for their organization. The objective must be measurable and achievable. Remember this statement when the time comes for evaluation of ideas; it should be the initial criterion used.

Management should also be familiar with the concept and rules for brainstorming. The list of topics found here can also be used to determine objectives in a practice session.

Your company’s mission and vision statements, quality policy and objectives provide an excellent starting point for discussion. Questioning these statements will lead to an outstanding session of goal brainstorming.

Here's How it Works

Have the team brainstorm as many potential goals as possible during the meeting. Follow the rules created for a problem solving session- no criticism, encourage wild ideas, etc.

Determine the must have criteria. Ask these questions after the session:

Is it measurable and attainable? 

Where do we need internal improvement? 

Where has our competition improved? 

What is important to our customers? 

Screening and Prioritizing

The answers to the questions are the criteria the team should use to screen the responses given during the session. The team will prioritize the remaining responses after screening the responses to eliminate those that do not meet the criteria.

The easiest prioritization method is multi-voting. Each team member votes for the response or responses they feel worthy of further consideration. The responses with the largest vote total move to the next step- the action plan.

Another way to prioritize is to use a weighted scale. For example, the team had 4 responses remaining after screening. Each member would rank the 4 responses in order of importance (4 being most important, 1 being least). The ranking scores for each response are added together and the responses with the highest point scores move to the action plan phase.

A more robust version of the weighted scale can be used to discriminate between the remaining responses. The team might use a 0-1-3-9 scale instead. This provides a greater variation in scores between the best alternatives and the average ones.

The team has one final task before beginning an action plan; writing the goal statement. This statement must be understandable, meaningful, challenging, and most of all… measurable. The statement must also include a target date for completion. 

Brainstorming Individual Goals

Where are you heading? Personally? Professionally? In need of a plan?

The same concepts described on this page can be used to determine personal and professional objectives as well. Keep in mind that we’re not experts in the field of personal development, but this tool is often utilized to create new personal objectives. Follow the guidelines listed for establishing business objectives, but remember you may not have a team to help determine the screening criteria. You can, however, enlist the help of family, friends, or co-workers to develop responses and screening criteria. 

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