Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Meaningless Corporate Leadership

As a student majoring in Information Technology I have been made to take various business and management courses. I often wonder if those who I work with that are managers or in executive positions ever took any of these courses, because they seem to make a show out of breaking every good practice that is taught.

One important part of management is effective goal administration. There are some fairly standard rules to effective goal setting.
  • Specific – Your goals need to be well-defined. Try and be as precise as possible

  • Measurable – You need to know when you have achieved your goal

  • Attainable – Make sure your goals are realistic

  • Relevant – Consider how relevant your goal is within your overall plan

  • Time-Specific – Try and keep a timescale
Source: http://www.ucreative.ac.uk/index.cfm?articleid=12312

In this light, here are the posted goals that have been posted around my work.
  • Increase Customer Satisfaction

  • Engage Employees

  • Demonstrate Customer Value

These goals fail being measurable, and so it follows they are not attainable. The verbiage is such that they are too vague to have any useful meaning. Maybe somewhere these goals are broken down into a more specific vision for management to review. This is doubtful, or if true, still unhelpful because the first and third goals are goals that transcend management and sit largely in the lap of all employees at all levels.

The goal to "engage employees" is the worst because it doesn't even have any meaning. If it really is a goal it implies that our organization was previously not engaging employees. This goal has about as much value of a goal that says, "Talk." All you have to do is say a word and you are done. Without any verbiage that implies improvement, it really isn't much of a goal.

It really bothers me that presumably well paid professionals put this kind of stuff out on a regular basis when they should know better. If the end goal that they where hired on for was to create goals then they have succeeded. If, however, they where hired on to help our organization grow, and they are trying to use goal setting as a tool to accomplish those ends, then they have failed miserably, and have publicly posted their uselessness for the whole organization to see.