I have been asked to be a guest and a live “case study” on #kaizenblog twitter chat and #KQ4 teleconference this coming Friday, 15 October, at noon ET. The subject is “Goal Setting”, and the following questions were sent by the chat co-host, Elli St.George, a successful entrepreneur and small business coach for entrepreneurs. Elli coaches with a strong focus on measurement, and it’s interesting that in large part the things I have learned over a long career, and still practice successfully today, are just the things you can learn today from Elli ☺
Here are Elli’s questions and my answers ~ the short set of answers. I don’t want to give everything away in advance.
Q – When creating emidaASIA, how would you describe your methodology?
A – After brainstorming and developing our strategic direction, we analyzed lots of factors to ensure that the relevant technology, infrastructure, and social metrics (market readiness for user adoption, regulatory environment, etc.,) were aligned, in markets large enough to make this a worthwhile endeavor economically.
Q – What specific techniques did you use to set the goals?
A – Starting a nuCo can seem overwhelming initially; there are so many considerations and moving parts. We developed a phased approach (viewing each goal as manageable individual yet inter-related components), with specific goals and go/no-go decision points for each phase. Building gates into the process like this makes progress more manageable and instills discipline; and what I really like is that you have a great sense of success along the way as you meet each goal ~ go through each gate☺ I should add that the “gate” analogy is really my co-founder Alex’s way of viewing what I had always called “milestones”…..I like the gate analogy better, since passing through a gate always leads you to something new: the next challenge? Now I see that milestones don’t connote ‘progress’ in quite the same way as “gates” do.
Q – How did you know when you met each goal?
A – You can determine this up front when you’re defining the goals in the first place. Part of the goal setting process should be establishing metrics to measure progress against the defined goal. With the right metrics in place and good discipline, knowing when you have met the goal/passed through the gate, will be evident to you.
Q – What challenged you the most in your current start up?
A – While this is a nuCo, it is not a start up as such, as we benefit at launch by using technology from an existing very successful private company. There has been a bit of a challenge in finding the right balance between our needs as a nuCo, and our technology partner’s somewhat different needs as an established company. It’s important to note that this challenge has been exciting (I think for both sides ) and a healthy one; as we’ve learned to design a partnership that I believe will make both entities stronger as a result. Even though a nuCo, we’re fortunate to have an experienced and seasoned team, particularly because they understand and have experience working with the different cultures and markets in Asia. So, although a new company, it’s not really new, and avoids many of the uncertainties of a start up company with untried and yet to be proven technology.
Q – What surprised you?
A – We have discovered that our development roadmap may include a more prominent role for NGOs and other organizations that we did not originally anticipate. In fact, this looks to become a competitive differentiator for us. We discovered this through our process of ongoing evaluation of assets versus market dynamics.
Q – What is the #1 lesson you learned from launching this company?
A – That the opportunity in the developing world to innovate profitably, and inspire positive change, is even greater than we initially realized.
A final note on goal setting:
The processes for goal setting, and designing the actions to implement and realize the goals, is very much the same, whatever you might set out to do. So really understanding, and constantly fine-tuning the process does pay off.
Thanks, and see you on Friday at Noon ET on twitter at #kaizenblog.
CASUDI ~ building bridges between people – designing success