Creating Goals: CEO

For Khorus to work well, it's important to write effective goals. The CEO's goals—really, the strategic objectives of the organization—will set the groundwork for the majority of the rest of goals that go into Khorus. That means it's important to get them right.
Each quarter, the CEO should create a small set of goals in Khorus that define what success looks like for the organization over that period. Here are a few guidelines to follow.

Set no more than 5–7 goals.

Creating organizational focus require paring your goals down to what's really important. It's an extremely common mistake to create ten or even twenty goals at the company level. However, this sets a poor groundwork for the goal cascade and will pull people's attention in too many different directions.
  • Cover the 6 areas of the business.

Another very common goal-setting mistake we see is CEOs who enter only financial goals into Khorus (around revenue, margin, cash flow metrics, and so on). However, we recommend a goal set that takes into account all the key areas of the business, including its core functions and core constituencies. When creating company goals, consider each of the six below areas and whether a goal is appropriate in them for the quarter.
  • Core Functions
    • Product (Sample goal: Release mobile app by 10/1)
    • Marketing (Sample goal: Generate 2,000 marketing qualified leads)
    • Sales (Sample goal: Close $15M in new bookings)
  • Core Constituencies
    • Employees (Sample goal: Retain 90% of top performers each quarter)
    • Customers (Sample goal: Improve NPS to over 45%)
    • Shareholders (Sample goal: Achieve 25% net margin)

Goal-Setting-Blueprint.pdf

Add measurements.

You've likely heard that goals should be measurable. We agree. For each goal you set at the company level, you should be able to say without hesitation whether the goal was achieved or not at the end of the quarter.

For example, if you want to improve NPS, you need to set a clear metric for it. In Khorus, your goal title might be "Improve NPS" and your measurement might be "NPS of 45–50." At the end of the quarter, you'll run an NPS survey and know exactly whether you achieved your goal or not.

For some goals, you might use two metrics. Take the example above of launching a mobile app. Your goal title might be "Launch mobile app" and then you might have two measurements, one specifying the launch date ("App released by 10/1") and the other controlling for quality of the release ("80% customer adoption by quarter end").

Tip: Outcomes, not activities. Khorus is a place to record strategically critical outcomes, not write down 
every activity your teams will be doing. Mixing these up is what often leads to long goal lists in Khorus rather than the tight 5–7 (maximum) we recommend.

For example, “Improve employee retention” is a fine company goal if you, the CEO, have 
decided this is a critical, strategic outcome for the business. On the other hand, “Roll out mentorship program” is not a good company goal—it’s an activity that will support the outcome of employee retention. That goal is better owned by your HR head or someone in HR responsible for the mentorship program.

Be realistic.

Finally, another piece of classic goal-setting advice: keep your goals achievable. Stretch goals may seem like the way to go, but when all your goals are stretch goals, you run the risk of demotivating the team, encouraging cut corners, and delivering scattershot results.
Once you've come up with your company goals, you're ready to put them in Khorus. In the Title field, give the goal a clear, easy-to-understand title. Avoid jargon and fluffy language—every single employee should be able to read this goal and understand what it means. Put your measurement in the Measurement field. Finally, use the optional Description field to give further context to the goal.

Do you have more questions about goal setting? Reach out to us by clicking the Contact Us button at the bottom-right of the page.