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BetterWorks Goal Summit 2015: Putting Goal Science into Practice with Alex Moffit and Ciara Peter


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BetterWorks Goal Summit 2015: Putting Goal Science into Practice with Alex Moffit and Ciara Peter

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A look at the research behind Goal Science™ and how the BetterWorks enterprise goals platform works from Alex Moffit, BetterWorks Goal Scientist, and BetterWorks Product Lead Ciara Peter.

A look at the research behind Goal Science™ and how the BetterWorks enterprise goals platform works from Alex Moffit, BetterWorks Goal Scientist, and BetterWorks Product Lead Ciara Peter.


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BetterWorks Goal Summit 2015: Putting Goal Science into Practice with Alex Moffit and Ciara Peter

  1. 1. GOAL SUMMIT 2015 Putting Goal Science into Practice Alex Moffit, BetterWorks Ciara Peter, BetterWorks April 16, 2016
  2. 2. 2 A Brief History 2012 GST Goal Science Thinking! 1967 1973 1981 1984 1990 1999 S.M.A.R.T. George Doran’s “S.M.A.R.T. Way” MBOs The Effective Executive By Peter Drucker
  3. 3. 3 The Good and Bad of MBOs The Good The Bad • Infrequently updated • Siloed • Management-driven • Tied to performance reviews and compensation • MBOs ushered in era of results-oriented management
  4. 4. 4 The Good and Bad of SMART Goals • Attainable: research has proven that challenging goals are better • SMART only focuses on the setting of goals, not the pursuing • Specific: absolutely critical • Measurable: good when appropriate • Relevant: aligned goals are better goals • Timely: deadlines boost performance • Better than no goals The Good The Bad
  5. 5. 5 A Brief History 20121967 1973 1981 1984 1990 1999 S.M.A.R.T. George Doran’s “S.M.A.R.T. Way” MBOs The Effective Executive By Peter Drucker OKRs John Doerr introduces OKRs to Google
  6. 6. 6 A Brief History • Objectives and Key Results (OKRs) are invented at Intel • KPCB’s John Doerr brings OKRs to Google and more Benefits • Quarterly vs. Annual process • Transparent and aligned • Aspirational • Not directly tied to performance reviews/compensation
  7. 7. 7 How High Performing Companies Manage Goals Open Transparent and all individuals participate Measurable Metrics and milestone based goals Frequent Quarterly and monthly check-ins
  8. 8. 8 A Brief History Today Goal Science Goal Science Thinking! 1967 1973 1981 1984 1990 1999 S.M.A.R.T. George Doran’s “S.M.A.R.T. Way” MBOs The Effective Executive By Peter Drucker OKRs John Doerr introduces OKRs to Google
  9. 9. 9 Goal Science Thinking • A set of principles that helps people achieve their goals ‒ Better goal-setting and goal-pursuing ‒ Enhances SMART goal-setting • Supports Operational Excellence • Goal Science thinking is based on: ‒ Leading academic research ‒ Consumer engagement techniques ‒ Data from our platform
  10. 10. 10 Goal Science™ Pillars Connected Supported Progress-based Adaptable Aspirational
  11. 11. 11 Goal Science™ Pillars Connected Transparent and all individuals participate
  12. 12. 12 How we do it Flexible goal contribution structure allows top down, bottoms up, and horizontal collaboration
  13. 13. 13 Stats Do people care about other people’s goals? 27% of @mentions are made by someone other than the goal owner
  14. 14. 14 Stats How important are top company goals? People view their manager’s goals 20% more often than their own
  15. 15. 15 Stats How does manager engagement influence behavior? Managers who check in to a goal bi-weekly increase child goal check ins by 63%
  16. 16. 16 Supported Working transparently with social reinforcement and recognition Goal Science™ Pillars
  17. 17. 17 How we do it Dashboard Stats Display dashboard stats to promote engaging behaviors
  18. 18. 18 Work Profile Working transparently with social reinforcement and recognition How we do it
  19. 19. 19 Which social actions are most effective? @mentions, comments, follows have the highest open rates Stats
  20. 20. 20 Progress-based Relevant feedback and frequent wins Goal Science™ Pillars
  21. 21. 21 How we do it Design for primary use cases on mobile, reduce friction to check in and check on team
  22. 22. 22 How we do it Company Dashboards Real time company, department, and team progress stats
  23. 23. 23 Stats Does the frequency of check ins really matter? Goals updated in the first month are 3x more likely to be updated Goals that have between 6-10 are in the goldilocks zone Less than monthly Greater than monthly Weekly 97.20 93.75 82.53
  24. 24. 24 Goal Science™ Pillars Adaptable Flexibility to respond to changing business needs
  25. 25. 25 How we do it Editable goals are adaptable but accountable Goals are edited twice as often as they are created
  26. 26. 26 Stats 88% of stall points are within the control of the company High agility orgs: More likely to capitalize on change High agility employees: More likely to be top quartile performers 4.5x 3.5x
  27. 27. 27 Aspirational Greater achievement and encourage excellence Goal Science™ Pillars
  28. 28. 28 How we do it Self-assessment via scoring allows user to note insights about the goal’s achievement
  29. 29. 29 Stats Do people with aspirational goals really know how they’re doing? 70% of users downloaded goal summary in Q1
  30. 30. 30 Stats Aspirational goal setting using BetterWorks Top-performing department at an industry leading energy company Average progress: 82% Average score: 97%
  31. 31. 31 Goal Science Questions What? Who? When? How? Why? Concrete and focused You and your coworkers Continually Progress and feedback Make an impact • You know exactly what your goals are, and how they interrelate to your business as a whole. • You focus on 3-5 goals at a time. • Your goals are quantifiable with clear metrics and milestones. • Your goals are yours to create and own, but they connect to others too. • Having a supportive community alongside you increases goal progress. • The aspirational, future goals you want take time. You have smaller steps along the way to help reach them. • The workplace is dynamic. Adapting goals when appropriate helps you stay flexible and on track. • Progress is the positive force motivating you to do your best. • Achieving small steps makes feedback relevant, which further fuels momentum. • You want to accomplish challenging things at work, and make a difference. • Mastering aspirational, meaningful goals leads to greater engagement, performance, and satisfaction at work.
  32. 32. Questions

Editor's Notes

  • Create visibility- Everyone’s goals are visible across the company, openly available for anyone to see this helps not only with visibility, but also with alignment since goals can then be easily set top-down, bottom-up and even sideways/cross-functionally.
    Encourage stretch and aspirational goals- Everyone is required to set aspirational goals and encouraged to stretch to achieve them; This is done by typically uncoupling the goal setting process from the compensation process in companies
    Manage quarterly- Goal Setting takes place quarterly (not annually), and check-ins happen throughout the quarter to track goal progress..
  • Thanks, Alex. Now that we’ve taken a look at the history of goals and some of the guiding principles, I’m going to introduce the 5 pillars of Goal Science. These pillars were created from the ideas Alex just talked about, and are the backbone for our product and the way we run company here at BetterWorks. We’ll go over the concept behind each, the ways we use it in practice, and some interesting stats we’ve discovered through our customers.
  • The first pillar is connected. There is a lot of research around the new millennial workforce, and it shows the #1 factor in choosing a job is meaning. They want to work for companies that are doing good and give them a sense of purpose. Yet, only 7% of knowledge workers know their company’s business strategy. On a similar note, only 6% of managers have meetings to set goals throughout the year. So there’s a big disconnect between what employees need to be successful and what they’re getting from their organization We also know that org structures are shifting and relationships aren’t just between managers and their directs anymore. We need to build for matrix and project teams so people can see how the work they’re actually doing is recognized by their organization.

  • To put that into practice, we connect about 70% of our goals here at BetterWorks, and that means aligned upward, downward, or horizontally to connect our team projects.. In this example, we have a team that’s aligned to a company level user research goal, so we can see everyone’s tracking against the goal and use it as a launching point to capture links to all of the research that’s being done across teams.
  • Another feature in BetterWorks is @mentions, which notifies someone if they’re mentioned on a goal. We’ve found that 27% of @mentions are made by someone who doesn’t own the goal. This means that ⅓ of conversations on goals are by people who have some connection to the goal even though they’re not specifically accountable for it, and have now looped in a 3rd person, who is also in some way connected to it. So you can see it’s really important to support ad hoc relationships that go beyond the org structure.
  • Another way to see how work is connected in BetterWorks is the goal chart. This shows how goals are aligned, independent to the structure of the org chart. An interesting stat here is that of all the people who navigate to the goal chart, they actually view the top company goals 7% more than they view their own, and they view their manager’s goals 20% more often than they view theirs. This shows how important it is to see linkage between goals and draw inspiration from goals higher up in the company.
  • Continuing on the topic of manager goals, manager activity is a pretty significant motivator of goal progress as well. We’ve found that when managers check in to a goals bi-weekly, the contributing goals are 63% more likely to also receive a check in.
  • Building on connectedness is the next pillar, supported. When people set transparent goals, there’s an implied social contract that comes with making a public commitment to something. It makes employees accountable for their goals, but it also makes their co-workers accountable for helping them achieve their goals. Earlier we talked how important it is when people are choosing a job to be connected to the mission. Well, the #1 factor for happiness at work is appreciation of the work. Let’s see how it’s put in action at BetterWorks.
  • In the BetterWorks dashboards, you can see the stats of all people leading social behaviors. This is important because these drive the most engagement with your goals. One stat we found is that 90% of cheers resulted in a cheer or nudge on another person’s goals, what we call the tornado effect.
  • On the work profile, we track all the accomplishments a person has made over time, so they can be recognized for their work.
    And also their social behavior so we can draw insights on how they're contributing to the organization.
  • And I just want to spend a minute talking about some stats around supportive behavior. The #1 topic for goal comments is about goal setting and goal quality. So people are motivated to help other people set high quality goals. 30% of mobile users open their team list. So almost as important as checking in to their own goals, people want to have a more integrated experience where they can manage on the go.
  • The next pillar is progress based. As Alex mentioned before, one of the main differences between goal science and all of the goal setting methodologies of the past is that rather than just setting and forgetting, the new way of goal thinking is around capturing frequent progress to drive the accomplishment of goals. The first companies to really get this right were the fitness trackers like Fitbit and Jawbone. Fitbit users take 43% more steps than non-Fitbit users. On average, they lose 13 points. Jawbone users who achieved major weight loss logged 75% more meals than those who didn’t. So there’s a direct correlation between tracking your goals and achieving them. This also applies in the workplace. People want frequent, measurable feedback that’s easy to digest visually. Here are some examples.
  • We use the BetterWorks mobile app to check in to goals. Simplify the experience to focus on quick progress check ins and social actions
  • We can also see real time progress on the BetterWorks dashboards. So, we can see the health of the company or team’s goals, departments that are contributing, and what’s at risk.
  • The frequency of check ins is also tied closely to goal completion. Goals that have 6-10 milestones are great. because they encourage bi-weekly or weekly check ins, over the course of a quarter.
  • Something that often gets overlooked in traditional goal setting processes is adaptability. When goals are set at an annual cadence, it’s almost like having no goals at all. Highly agile or quarterly goal setting organizations are found to exponentially more likely to capitalize on change, have cultures that foster innovation and trust, and value creativity. Yet in most organizations, 2/3 of managers don’t revise their goals at all throughout the year. Let’s look at some of the ways we support adaptability at BetterWorks.
  • Any goal in BetterWorks can be edited by their owner, and the right people are notified when that change is made. This lets people change their goals to reflect pivots in the business, but keeps a trail of the goal history for accountability and accuracy.
  • Here are just some of the state we mentioned earlier about the difference between high and low agility orgs. According to CEB, research, about 88% of stall points in a company’s growth are actually within control of the organization. So it’s important to have the ability to change goals mid course in case there are unexpected strategy changes.
  • The last pillar of goal science is aspirational In traditional systems where goals are annual and tied to compensation, people are much less likely to set aspirational goals. At companies like Google, they set stretch goals because they produce the highest levels of effort and performance, and even 70% achievement can be considered a win. In aspirational goal setting practice, at least 50% of goals should originate from employees, not corporate. When employees participate, they’re much more able to reach previously unattainable goals.
  • We also self-assess our goals at the end of the period to track our evaluation of goal accomplishment. So someone who sets an aspirational goal and reaches 70% might give themselves a 10/10 score for the work that went into the goal, and also comment on the goal to reflect on achievement.
  • One way we support this in BetterWorks is providing a summary of goal activity, that is more about the record of work than running performance reviews. This way, people get credit for the work, check ins, and behaviors, but the work is not directly tied to compensation. Some people even post this behind their desk to show their current status. In Q1 this year, the goal summary was downloaded or printed by over 70% of BetterWorks users, including individuals, so it shows people are interested in keeping up to date with their own progress throughout the year, not just when it’s time for their performance reviews.
  • On that note, here are some interesting stats about one of our customers. Their average goal progress at completion is 82%, but their average score is 97%. So a score can add additional context into the lifecycle of that project while keeping accurate track of progress at the end. Risk is up to you