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The Danger in Compliance Goals

Posted by on March 18th, 2013 with 1 Comment

Compliance or ‘maintenance’ goals are mankind’s most dangerous threat to greatness.

I define compliance goals as any goal where the target is:

  • A ‘must-do’
  • Relatively ‘low-hanging-fruit’. There are few performance barriers.
  • Should be performed 95% or higher, or 5% or lower
  • Not doing it should get you fired (or at least seriously reprimanded)
  • It doesn’t ‘move the needle’ for you, the customers, or the company.

The point is, these compliance targets are the things that an employee is supposed to do.

Here are a few examples:

  • Turn in your weekly reports on time.
  • Complete quarterly reviews.
  • Satisfy the customer.

Goals like these are not SMART. They are stupid.
In fact, they are not goals.

There are minimum performance.
I shouldn’t have to monitor these, any more than I should have to tell you to come to work on time.
Every minute I spend monitoring ‘maintenance’ levels is a minute I don’t spend achieving greatness.

That doesn’t mean the tasks are important. They are.
But they only help you stay in the game.
They don’t help you win the game.

I shouldn’t have to manage these on a daily basis. I just want a score that I can review periodically, and – frankly – I want one score, not ten. These are not worthy of 5 – 6 individual goals.

Pull all of your compliance targets together, create a scorecard, and set the target between 90% and 95%. Then the goal will read, “Score 90% or greater on the Service Compliance Scorecard on a quarterly basis”.

That’s SMART as Hell.

SMART as Hell Exercise

  1. Gather: All of your compliance goals.
  2. List: Them on one sheet.
  3. Convert: Them into one dashboard.
  4. Track: That dashboard as one goal

Here’s an example:

  • Eat fruit 20/30 days a month
  • Exercise 20/30 days a month
  • Drink three cups of water 30/30 days a month
  • Eat vegetarian 10 days a month

That gives me a target to score 80 ‘healthy’ points out of 100 in a month.
If I do less than 80 points, I lose. If I do more than 80, I win.
It’s a pretty easy scoring system.

This provides me with one health goal that – if I choose – I can balance with a financial goal, a work goal, a family goal, and a hobby goal.

Share your thoughts, comments, and questions below.

 

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  • ComplianceRules

    I very much appreciate this post – it pinpoints exactly why I have felt unsatisfied with the compliance “goals” my org puts out. Thank you for sharing the scorecard solution!

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