Can your corporate culture accept the Goal Attainment Program you are planning to introduce into it? Testing for agreeableness is the first step in proving if your Goal Attainment Program will work long term.
There is a chance that your Goal Attainment Program is not a good fit for your organization.
What is Agreeableness
Agreeableness is the ability of a “body” to accept a radical change that results in a long-term, positive improvement. A body can be a person, environment or organization.
If the body is not agreeable with the changes that are being made, the body will reject the changes. In addition to the rejection, a continued persistence to change a body when the change is not agreeable with the body can be dangerous and can lead to a lot of negative effects that may be irreversible.
Understanding agreeableness and how to leverage its essence.
In Our Daily Lives
You probably have experienced the effect of agreeableness in your mind and body. Every time you took medicine to cure an infection, what you were doing was effectively testing the efficacy of the medicine through intuitive agreeableness. For example, if your body accepted the medicine and your health improved in the short and long term then you can say your body was in agreement with the medicine. The opposite is also true. If you had an allergic reaction to the medicine, this would most likely mean your body had partially or wholly rejected the medicine because of disagreement.
Your medicine may have worked to an extent and for a finite period of time, but if the continued use of your medicine resulted in a negative net effect then it was ultimately not agreeable with your body.
This is of course a simple example, but it illustrates the point that allows you to use the same intuitive logic on larger, more complex systems.
In order for a corporation to change, it must be amenable to the changes.
A constant push in large corporate organizations is to be more efficient for the purposes of increasing revenue while reducing costs. This has resulted in a large pool of efficiency experts, lean techniques and productivity software. When you examine these tools closely, they all seem to be logical, sound and worth the investment. So then the question becomes, why aren’t the desired results always realized?
There are many reasons of which you may be familiar with that ultimately doom goal attainment programs in which most of them are directly or indirectly caused by disagreeableness. The corporate culture, employee personalities, leadership and corporate customers must be amenable to the efficiency and productivity changes in a way that allows the changes to grow and take root which then can in turn result in a net positive effect for your organization. If agreeableness is not accomplished, your goals may never be realized and any gains made may not be sustainable. A more often than not scenario is a tailspin of regression and failure creating an ever widening gap between where you are and your desired goals.
Consider a corporate culture that allows its employees to work from home, take unlimited vacation days and manage their own workday. If, for example the company decided to implement a goal attainment program that reduced vacation time, required employees to work at the office at set times and gave all of the employees new, micromanaging supervisors then the company will most likely find itself in disagreement with these changes. This disagreement will most likely lead to attrition, low employee morale, less employee effort, increased costs as a result of decreased productivity, and ultimately unrealized goals.
The proactive solution to this scenario would be to test for agreeableness before making any substantial investments into a new goal attainment program.
It is not always apparent how a program is performing, but it can be.
When it’s Working
When your goal attainment changes remove barriers to employee productivity, improve employee satisfaction and ties your leadership's goals directly to your employees' goals, the organization as a whole is more likely to accept the new changes, and thrive toward realizing its goals. This is usually because the changes are having a net positive impact on the company's culture.
One of the best ways to figure out which goal attainment program will give your organization the best chance of realizing its goals is by having discovery working sessions within your organization to test the agreeableness of the discovered changes that the organization would need to make to reach its goals. This may take several working sessions with every level of your organization affected by the change. This includes your leadership down to your front line employees, goal attainment managers and end users. And, these sessions should be led by goal attainment professionals that are knowledgeable in framing these working sessions, so that your organization can stay on course to reach its desired outcomes.
The result of your goal attainment working sessions should include an executable goal attainment program with a high likelihood of success because it has been accepted by all parties in principle.
When to course correct and when to abandon the goal attainment program.
The Gray Area
It is hard to know when to course correct your goal attainment program because there are a lot of factors that appear to not be measurable, but will indeed affect the success of your program. This is why it’s imperative for you, and your organization to implement a goal attainment system for your program that allows you to see what’s working and what's not. When you are able to understand the factors that matter and see what’s working and what’s not, you will then be able to make accurate decisions about what course corrections to make and when to make those course corrections to stay on track toward reaching your organizational goals. Eventually, your program will trend in a constant direction of agreeableness or disagreeableness and that will be your feedback informing you of if you should continue your goal attainment program, or not.
In the majority of cases, a program with an uptrend no matter how obtuse should be continued, but may require many course corrections to perform at the desired rate for goal realization. A sustained downtrend represents disagreement, so it is better to revamp most if not all of your entire program.
A well thought out and invested goal attainment program can help keep your program trending toward its goal.
Running a complex organization is hard and requires a lot of time and attention; two things leaders are in short supply of. There are a lot of factors that affect the success of organizations that ultimately boil down to productivity and efficiency. In order for leaders to increase productivity and efficiency, they must give a lot of time and attention to many factors that are by their very nature disorganized and misunderstood; big data for example. This is all to say the safest thing for any executive to do would be to pay for proven consultants, programs, systems, software and other tools for accomplishing their goals trusting that they will work because they make logical sense without first testing for agreeableness.
But, the problem is without agreeableness, all solutions designed to attain goals no matter how successful they have been with other organizations in the past will fail in an organization if the organization is in disagreement with the changes that are to be introduced.
Testing for agreeableness on the front end by creating a goal attainment program with working sessions to gain acceptance from all affected parties will increase an organization's chance for long term, sustained success.