The New Year is a nat­ur­al time for reflec­tion and goal set­ting.  Per­haps 2017 was so excit­ing you raised the bar on what you now believe is pos­si­ble.  Or per­haps 2017 was filled with chal­lenges and you are relieved it is over.  Regard­less of your expe­ri­ence, the turn­ing of the clock gives you a chance to renew, review, and choose again.

For your 2018 goals to become a real­i­ty, you’ve got to break down your big goals into small, week­ly or dai­ly, pieces.  When set­ting goals just for your­self, the par­ty of one, that can be hard enough. But when trans­lat­ing your com­pa­ny wide goals into week­ly or dai­ly pieces for every­one on your team, that can quick­ly become an over­whelm­ing task.

To make it eas­i­er, let’s begin with the end in mind.  What you are shoot­ing for here is simple:

  • Each team mem­ber sees clear­ly how their work is linked to the over­all com­pa­ny goals
  • Team mem­bers know how they per­son­al­ly move their met­rics forward
  • Team mem­bers can eas­i­ly access and report on their metrics
  • There are no more than one to three met­rics for each person

At Mack­ey Advi­sors, we have a tool we use for boil­ing down com­pa­ny-wide goals into action bites for teams and indi­vid­u­als.  It is known as Cas­cad­ing Met­rics.  Please click on the Cas­cad­ing Met­rics link to access the down­load­able tool.

Step one: Com­pa­ny-wide goals

Break down your com­pa­ny-wide goals into 5 essen­tial buckets:

  1. Key ini­tia­tives- those struc­tur­al improve­ments you will take on this year, such as new tech­nol­o­gy, an improved mar­ket­ing cam­paign, over­haul of your human resources ben­e­fits and com­mu­ni­ca­tions, etc.
  2. Cus­tomers – to achieve your sales goal, what specif­i­cal­ly are you going to do dif­fer­ent with cus­tomers? Exam­ples include, increas­ing your aver­age sale, hav­ing one on ones with key cus­tomers about their goals, tar­get­ing a new prod­uct or ser­vice line, tar­get­ing a new type of customer
  3. Sales/Gross Mar­gin – your sales goal in dol­lars and your gross mar­gin goal as a per­cent­age of sales
  4. Finan­cial Results – total over­head in dol­lars, net income as a per­cent­age of sales
  5. Finan­cial Strength – one or two bal­ance sheet results that need improve­ment, such as days accounts receiv­able, work­ing cap­i­tal, cash headroom

For each of these areas, fill in one to three key finan­cial indi­ca­tors (KFI) and/ or one to three key per­for­mance indi­ca­tors (KPI).  Finan­cial indi­ca­tors come off your finan­cials and per­for­mance indi­ca­tors are non-account­ing mea­sures.  Here is an example.

Your cus­tomer goal is to dou­ble the size of your aver­age sale.  A key finan­cial mea­sure is aver­age sale, that is total sales in dol­lars divid­ed by num­ber of cus­tomers.  A key per­for­mance mea­sure could be type of new cus­tomer.   In some cas­es, you will have both KFIs and KPIs and in come cas­es, just one or the other.

Step two and three- Depart­ment and Indi­vid­ual goals

Repeat this process by ask­ing two questions:

  • How does each depart­ment help the orga­ni­za­tion reach its goals?
  • How does each employ­ee help the orga­ni­za­tion reach its goals?

At the depart­ment lev­el, you will like­ly have some KFIs and some KPIs.  At the employ­ee lev­el, typ­i­cal­ly all results are activ­i­ty based and thus are KPIs.

Once your mea­sures are in place, set up track­ing sys­tems for each and have your employ­ees report up week­ly to their super­vi­sor on their account­abil­i­ties or KPIs.  Refer to the instruc­tions on the Cas­cad­ing Met­rics tem­plate for more guidance.

Week­ly reports cre­ate quick, sim­ple ways to keep every­one focused on results. In addi­tion, they give your employ­ees what they want most, clear guid­ance on their per­for­mance.  For great­est impact, spend a few min­utes each week to review reports one to one with your team. These look like two to three min­utes of either “way to go”, or “you are off track, what sup­port do you need”?

Using Cas­cad­ing Met­rics focus­es every­one on your team.  Focus is the most impor­tant ele­ment in achiev­ing any goal.  Mea­sure­ment is the sec­ond key ele­ment.  Com­mu­ni­ca­tion is third.  Using this tool, you will have clear focus, sim­ple met­rics, and effec­tive com­mu­ni­ca­tion.  The three keys to achieve­ment all wrapped into one.

If you’d like help with this tool, call me at 859–331-7755 ext. 103 and I will help you through it.

At Mack­ey Advi­sors we are pas­sion­ate about cre­at­ing a pros­per­ous world, one entre­pre­neur at a time.  If we can help you, call me at 859–331-7755 ext. 103 or email me at