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Complex Thoughts

Goal Implementation

Many students who are in organizations find themselves asking what happens between the time their organization started the year with a list of goals and finished the year with the same list of unmet goals. Instead of asking what happens, it might be better to ask what doesn’t happen, and that is implementation and follow-through of plans.

To accomplish organizational goals, two phases need to occur:

  • Pre-action Phase — analyzing the situation, deciding on a course of action, and developing goals.

  • Action Phase — implementing the specific plan and following through on each step.

COMPONENTS OF IMPLEMENTATION

        
  1. PLAN SPECIFIC STEPS NEEDED TO ACCOMPLISH THE TASK.
    • Identifying the steps necessary to complete the task.
    • It is better to break down the steps so that volunteers realize what thinking time, information-gathering time, and types of preparation are needed to accomplish even a simple task.
    • Place each step in the appropriate order, so the task is done in the most efficient manner.
    • Set specific deadlines for each step. Be realistic. Know if a vital step has been overlooked.   
  2. SELECT AND ORGANIZE HUMAN AND MATERIAL RESOURCES.
    • Determine what motivates members and apply that information when selecting people to complete tasks. Their personal goals are integrated with the organization’s goals.
    • Money and supplies should be assessed to ensure that adequate resources are available.   
  3. DELEGATE TASKS, WHICH INCLUDES DEVELOPING A WELL-DESIGNED JOB.
    • In a well-designed job the individual would have a clear understanding of what successful accomplishment of the task would be and how the job relates to the organization.
    • Have specific starting and ending dates.
    • Let person decide how the task should be accomplished.
    • Get others to help accomplish group goals. This provides them with opportunities to participate in the organization, and it helps them to see the results of their efforts. This will motivate them , and the organization will retain volunteers.
    • Provide appropriate levels of training, information and resources to get the job done. One of the best ways of identifying the kinds of training and information people need is to ask them how they intend to complete their assigned tasks. The leader’s job is to listen for areas that are vague or unrealistic, which identifies the need for additional training and information.
    • To prevent burnout, the leader should learn to delegate task instead of completing them him/herself. 
  4. COMMUNICATE CRITERIA FOR SUCCESS.
    • Make the criteria observable and measurable to the individuals who are completing the task, which will help them see the results of their efforts.

COMPONENTS OF FOLLOW-THROUGH

      
  1. RECHECK
    • Make sure the information, training, resources, and job description are adequate.
    • Adjust the time line if necessary.
    • Offer feedback and encouragement which give individuals a feeling of support and keeps them working on the task.   
  2. DEVELOP A REPORTING SYSTEM
    • Include time in regular meetings for progress reports. This gives them an opportunity to be recognized for their work and provides additional encouragement. It also creates embarrassment to those individuals who have not done anything, which may motivate them to produce results for the next meeting.   
  3. SUPPORT MEMBERS AS NEEDED
    • Continue to share new and relevant information. The sooner the information is shared, the greater the chances are that group members will more effectively accomplish their tasks.
    • Serve as a resource to group members when problems occur to help identify alternative solutions. Refer to other people to get information. 
  4. REWARDING MEMBERS
    • Rewards can come in many forms, including giving credit where credit is due.
    • Develop formal and informal ways of thanking people and create an ongoing appreciation system in the organization (i.e., member of the week, kudos at meetings, thank you notes posted in the cubicle).

TEACHING METHODS

For an organization to accomplish its goals, the leader not only has to be a good implementor, but also an effective teacher of these skills. The following are some ways these skills can be taught to other organization members.

  • Leader should role-model these skills.
  • Develop workshops for members or have them attend workshop available on campus.
  • Pair leaders with their counterparts who are learning these skills.
  • Provide opportunities for members to practice these skills on their own and then give constructive feedback about how to improve.

BENEFITS

  • The organization will accomplish more of its goals.
  • Members will learn how to accomplish tasks before they become leaders, which will strengthen the organization’s future.
  • Leaders will be less likely to suffer from burnout because other people in the organization will be able and able to accomplish tasks.
  • More people will volunteer for tasks at meetings because they will receive satisfaction from their work.
  • Leaders and members will be able to transfer these skills to other situations which will make them more competent individuals.

 

ADAPTED FROM SUPPORTING STUDENT LEADERSHIP, NACA EDUCATIONAL FOUNDATION, 1992

Excellence. Our Measure. Our Motto. Our Goal.