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Team Brainstorm



Lawrence J. Peter

We have all heard about the necessity for company wide goals. For many architectural firms, goal setting takes the form of revenue projections for the next fiscal year. This practice is not likely to get your staff excited about their work, or their position in the company.


The real purpose for defining company wide goals is to get the entire company moving toward a common objective. Andre Lavoie, CEO and Cofounder of ClearCompany, states in his article Strategic Alignment with Goals 101, “When your people understand what their goals are, and how they align with the goals of their teams and leaders, you can ensure that everyone in your company is collaborating on the right projects at the right time.” So, we can see how goal alignment has the potential to increase productivity in your company, but that only works when the company’s goals inspire your staff. Would you agree?


Company goals should reach beyond revenue and market share into larger objectives like environmental, social, or community impact. Company wide goal setting then should have a focus on what you want the company to achieve , not what the owner or CEO wants. Here we find a clear distinction between ourselves as people and the entity that is the firm. 



  • Clarifying company goals is the first phase to getting everyone in the company headed in the same direction

  • Clarifying goals helps to breakdown each objective into attainable, measurable, and predictable milestones

  • Clarifying goals allows for milestones and objectives to be defined through metrics

  • Clear goals can be attached to key performance indicators to measure the value to the company

  • Clear goals can be grown - people generally overestimate what they can do in a year, but underestimate what can be done in 5.

  • Companies that have targeted goals make more revenue and profit than those that do not


Misconceptions / Mistakes

  • Goals should be big enough to promote and inspire growth - goals that are too large feel unattainable and are soon abandoned, think about all the New Year’s Resolutions that never make it past January

  • Smaller goals won’t overwhelm the team - Small goals are not inspiring and tend to lose drive for achievement relatively quickly

  • Goals should be imprecise to allow for flexibility in achievement - Goals that lack clarity cannot be measured

  • Goals should be made by the executive team - Profitability, new market penetration, and goals pertaining to the budgets can remain at the stakeholder level, but if you can get the staff involved with other goals, like improved productivity and better customer service, then you will find more passion, drive, and creativity in the achievement of these goals

  • Goals should be made more than once a year - Some goals should be long-term goals (5-years or more), some goals should be short-term (3-months or less) then there are goals that should fall somewhere in between. 

  • Goals are best made and then delegated - only works if the team understands the three levels of delegation (delegate tasks, delegate responsibility, delegate outcome)

  • Goals will be worked toward in office down time - Goals require resources, discipline and determination


Solutions / Best Practices

  • At a minimum have monthly “goal accountability meetings” to check the progress of the company goals (short term goals may require more frequent meetings). Keep these short and to the point - where are we, what stands in the way of us attaining this goal, what further resources are required.

  • Define goals in terms of results to be achieved - A profitability goal of 20%, revenue goal of $1M; this allows you to set milestones and track them

  • 10X the perceived effort - Every goal will take more effort than we assume, by speculating 10 times the effort will guarantee the goal attainment and will likely reduce the time it takes

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