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Last Update: Thursday July 29, 2021

Key Idea: Make Goals Fun

Sarai Rodgers is Director of Human Resources.  She works with CFO Bill Lofft to come up with goals that are fun and easy to measure.

Key Question:


Make your growth goals fun for everyone to rally around and you don't have to have a CFO to come up growth goals that are fun and meaningful.

What is Bill's growth goal and why does it work? What could be the problem with it?

The goal is 37 1/2 % growth per year which means they double the sales in two years. It's fun because it's an odd number that has an elegant result. The problem could be that it is too big to be motivating. When you're already at $40 million imagining being at $80 million in 24 months might be hard. But he fixes this problem partially by breaking the goal down. He wants to see the existing business grow 20% and new revenue streams grow 17 1/2%.

Paul Meyer, author and business man says, "success is the achievement of pre-determined, realistic, worthwhile goals." Each of these characteristics are important for goal setting. Have you ever not made a to-do list then at the end of the day wrote down what you did and then checked off the items? You did this to give yourself a feeling of accomplishment! This is why Mr. Meyer says to be successful you have to decide in advance what you want. Many argue this but if you are the leader of others, setting pre-determined goals and telling everybody what they are and rewarding people for achieving them works!

Goals need to be realistic. That doesn't mean they should be easy. It means everyone who is to be part of the achievement must be able to visualize them being accomplished. Bill says people at Modern are holding on to the goal of 37 1/2% growth per year. He says everybody can remember it and they talk about it. That is the first step to visualizing the goal accomplished. A difficult, but realistic goal, is exciting. It calls on something deep inside of people. Also, people knows the group can't achieve a big goal unless everyone pulls their own weight.

The Game of Work, by Chuck Coonradt, spells out why people drag into work and may be not so energetic all day then at 5 pm you see them running to their car to make it to a scheduled tennis match. Mr. Coonradt says that people love sports because everybody is keeping score. Everybody, every minute knows where they stand. If you watch professional sports on television, the commentators spend most of their time chattering about a player's statistics and how he is stacking up in this game against prior performance. Could it be that professional athlete's make so much money because they are all about measurement? They are willing to live their lives being measured. They measure themselves and they are measured by their coaches and fans.

How much more would we all accomplish with our one life if we were willing to set and work toward goals daily, weekly, monthly and yearly? Modern Postcard has a culture of achievement because the leadership is full of goal-setters who push themselves. As Bill said, everything starts at the top. If you don't like the way your employees are performing, look at your own performance.

Think about it

What pre-determined, realistic, worthwhile goals do you need to set? Can you work with each department or team to help them set their own achievable but exciting goals?

Clip from: Modern Postcard

From 16 to 250+ employees

Carlsbad, California: Can an entire industry, the business of performance management, be reduced to a postcard? Can the deep study of kaizen and the work of business gurus like Peter Drucker be reduced to a link?  The quick answer is, "Yes." Visit Modern Postcard and meet Steve Hoffman and his team  producing over 100 million postcards a year for some 150,000 customers.

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Modern Postcard, Inc.

Steve Hoffman, CEO

1675 Faraday
Carlsbad, CA 92008

Visit our web site:

Office: 7604317084

Business Classification:
Printing, publishing

Year Founded: 1996

Make Goals Fun

BILL: What we've evolved through there is what I call the 37 1/2 percent model. And 37 1/2 percent of growth every year allows you to double your sales every two years. It's just a wonderful number, so...

HATTIE: Is that your goal? Is that yours?

BILL: And that's our goal. That's our objective. It's a stretched goal. It's a very hard thing to do. We've split it up between core business, which we want to grow at 20 percent, and new concepts that we want to grow at 17 1/2 percent. You get it in bite-size pieces. You get it to something that people can grasp. Well, because it's such an odd number and that sort of thing, everybody grasps it and keeps it, and so it's in everybody's head.

STEVE: Well, today is your lucky day.

HATTIE: (Voiceover) Sarai Rogers is director of human resources, and her role is key to achieving Bill's goal of 37 1/2 percent growth per year.

SARAI RODGERS: People are really passionate. You can even see it in, you know, the halls as we have people that come in to pick up their orders, and they get excited about what they see and, you know, employees just literally, in some cases, running around. I mean, there's a lot of excitement and a lot of energy, and a lot of passion around what it is that we're doing. And you see that, and a lot of the time, that comes across in our videos that Michael puts together. And I've got to tell you, that's our secret sauce.

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