You have a goal to drive revenue by 30%. It is a nice goal! Everyone in business would love to have this goal and then be able to back it until it is achieved. 

When setting goals don't just ooh and ahh at a fully formed goal and take it on face value. 

Imagine the worker in a hardware store who greets a customer:

  • "I need an electric drill with a 1/4 inch drill bit" This is a primary goal - the sorts of goals you always see on the surface of things
  • "I need a 1/4 inch hole" This is an intermediary goal - the sorts of goals you seldom see but are at the heart of the primary goal
  • "I need to hang my bookshelf" - This is a deeper level intermediary goal - the sorts of goals you might never see but lay at the purpose of all the other goals

If we started with the last goal the hardware assistant may show us to the drill-less bookshelf! But we don't do we? We start with the "I need an electric drill" goal first. 

Imagine having a conversation about the intermediary goals running through your workplace? 

CEO: Primary Goal "I want to grow revenue by 30%" - Usually we would take that at face value

CEO: Intermediary Goal "I want more revenue so we can buy better technology that helps me get real-time visibility into our organisations performance"

CEO: Intermediary Goal "I want to spend more time out of the office volunteering"

You can see these goals are all building to a revenue growth number. When we look deeper we get more substantial answers.

At scale these conversations would easily change the fabric of an organisation rapidly. 

How could you bring intermediary goals up in your planning framework?