When we truly learn, we grow.
So, in order to grow, we must actively learn.
Learning involves: Curiosity, insight, and reflection.
The challenge is this: where is your business on the continuum of growth? Are you still learning?
As the calendar year nears its end, it naturally evokes a time for reflection of the year past and planning for the year ahead. But when we innately know our wider business goals and we are consistently working toward them, why does goal-setting remain a challenging task?
Because many of us settle for 'operational competence'.
In the "Lifelong Learning" chapter of his book, "Pebbles of Perception: How a Few Good Choices Make all the Difference", Laurence Endersen discusses a continuum of learning. This continuum begins at ignorance, then moves through conversational competence, operational competence, and proficiency, toward mastery.
If we are always coasting along in "operational competence", it is easy to see why goal-setting is difficult. Because, we are rolling the wheel along the same track, at the same speed. The problem with operational competence is that we are forever fixing the bumps in the road, and end up only wheeling that wheel along the same path. There are no real obstacles, or new roads, that require us to expand our thinking.
Setting goals from a learning perspective:
Curiosity: What is it we really do? What are we good at? What are we not so good at? What do we know little or nothing about yet? What do we want to learn next?
Insight: Once you have identified answers to the above, you can see where you are running smoothly and therefore where you are able to challenge yourself to the next step up.
Reflection: Here's where the real work comes in. Taking the insights and propelling them into forwards/upwards motion. Reflection requires you to take the insights and simplify, simplify, simplify. Define, refine, and redefine.
We want to encourage you to move from operational competency to proficiency. Build new roads and expand your thinking. Make your goals reach further. Real learning can be challenging, but is the only way towards real growth.
All the best with your goal-setting!