The art of goal setting

As already mentioned a couple of times in this blog, we had an organizational change at VTT’s ICT cluster last year. A new knowledge centre “Digital service research” and our team “Value-driven service business” were formed within that change.

The new team was of course in a need of a new vision and goals for the future. Early on we decided that we wanted to set our future goals as a joint exercise with the whole team to ensure that everybody could relate to the outcome and be inspired by it. In this post I describe this process in brief; in real life it of course was not quite as straightforward as in this story.

VisionWe started by identifying all the possible beneficiaries of our work including e.g. industry, academia, peers, funders and the public audience. Then we talked through what we thought that these different entities might be expecting from us. Based on this discussion we drafted our value propositions for each different actor and combined these value propositions together. After that we formed our vision accordingly. That vision was that our team was to be among the best service science research teams in the world.

After setting that inspiring but somewhat far-away vision, we needed some concrete success factors which could take us closer towards realizing our vision in the future. By mapping our current competences and identifying areas for improvement and learning, we came up with five success factors that we see critical for us. These are:

  1. Conducting high quality research
  2. Ensuring industry relevance
  3. Building broad and common understanding
  4. Networking globally
  5. Creating inspiring work environment and excellent team spirit

For each of these factors we ideated super goals. These goals are very challenging; something that we could see possible maybe after five or ten years (e.g. publications in A level journals or TED talk with millions of views).

GoalsFinally we focused for our goals for 2013 for each of the success factors, both for the whole team and for each índividual team member. These initial goals will further evolve based on the individual development discussions held in the next couple of weeks.

Let’s see what we will come up with!

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