Barriers To Goal-Setting And Planning

Planning is a good process for a company because it helps management think through all the issues in advance. It gives them an opportunity to work with co-workers, employees, investors and family and to make use of all their ideas, resources and perspectives. And it sometimes, when one is lucky, it helps to discover hidden traps that one might otherwise have stumbled into had one not had the foresight to plan ahead. But planning itself can be a trap of nearly fatal effect.

Many people (and companies) spend so much time planning, so much time getting ready, so much time finding things that have to be done, have to be discovered, decided—that they never actually do anything. A company may have so much time planning and budgeting that by the time they decide to do the product, it was already too late. There are competitors, and their new, wonderful precisely planned feature set and product introduction are too little. The amount they had spent on planning, considering, staff meetings and worrying was more than they would have spent to launch the product and see how the market would respond.

A major opportunity lost to analysis paralysis. Planning and organizing projects usually entails working with employees to clarify broad objectives, discuss resource allocations and agree to completion dates. Thus, Lew Platt, of Hewlett-Packard describes what his workday is like as he puts it this way, “Basically, the whole day comes down to a series of choices. ” To help him hone his planning and administration competency, Platt hired a consultant to analyze his day and help him reshape his management approach.
Platt instinctively knew that information gathering, analysis and problems solving are important and that customers are a rich source of useful information—but they can easily eat up a whole day. The consultant helped him understand that some types of customer phone calls were something he could delegate in order to leave 20 percent of his time foe meeting directly with customers. For instance, in Australia, there is a present need to respond to the increased demands of consumers.
There is also a need to control costs to be competitive, and the need to reduce risks including price, quality and quantity of products included in giving incentives for the establishment of the agribusiness chains. This is the new era in doing business. Australian companies are now very conscious about the increasing international competition and the need for real planning and goal setting. But in wanting to be competitive, the coordination, goal setting and planning must be well executed in order for companies to succeed. The Australian agribusiness sector lacks these skills and is obliged to change their business ways (Sainsbury).
In this business, there is a need for planning and organizing which usually means that employees must be assisted in clarifying broad objectives and resource allocations. (Sainsbury). Planning is a task. Managers are assigned to detect and identify areas that are in need of a revamp, and then to successfully implement a program that will address the perceived gap. Although it sounds quite simple and perfunctory, Jones, Aguirre and Calderone (2004) suggested that the reality is far from easy, as every attempt to plan and do goal setting instigates “people issues” in the political realm of the workplace.
Because of the ubiquitous presence of managers who proffer their expertise to organizations, planning and goal setting has also become an area of professional practice. These experts follow principles and theories; they developed their know-how after studying the actualities of the organization. Hence, planning is a body of knowledge. Planning is a control mechanism because it entails the application of certain processes and procedures. An effective planning is governed by standards that need to be accomplished (Nilakant & Ramnarayan, 2006). Every organization needs to sustain its competitive advantage in order to survive.
According Don Hellriegel and John Slocum (1996) companies such as Handy Dan Home Improvement Center, Grey Hound, Pan Am, Herman’s Sporting Goods, and a number of savings and loans corporations were bankrupted and cleared out of the competition because of the failure to adapt to changing market demands. They were the leaders in their fields once, the paragon of success for succeeding corporations but they failed to maintain their winning edges when they did not listen to the market’s call for new approaches or for novel commodities. Complacency has its price.
Simply, a company cannot live long enough while immobile in a single spot. They need to plan their company objectives. There must always be a movement to grow, to expand, and most especially, to innovate. The seed of change is inherently embedded in every organization, even in bureaucratic ones. Leaders only need to be sensitive to the extant trends in the organization, and more importantly, to the budding threats and opportunities. Unlike the companies mentioned earlier, organizations the likes of Hewlett-Packard, Merck and Compaq are constantly releasing new products in the market, (Hellriegel and Slocum 1996).
They exemplify the aphorism, “internal stability spells disaster” (Nickols, 2006). Every innovation project of these companies is a part of a strategy for planned change. The planning process is the place to start assessing one’s status. The key is not to get paralyzed in the planning process. One must try to avoid making everything dependent on one or two deductions. The barriers to goal setting and planning are some of the following: – The plan is so general and there are no directions. One way to remedy this is to break plans into phases and rather than doing one sweeping plan, managers must do a lot of little plans.
One must determine a general direction, then sit down and plan in tiny chunks. Then, when one is finished, a small chunk-plan, one can begin executing it. There is no reason one cannot execute one miniplan while planning the next phase. – Time element – If one is an obsessive planner, one may find that the only way to get beyond the planning stage is to set a deadline. Or example, one must give himself one full month to do planning. Then, when that month is over, regardless of how finished, the plan is to get started on making things happen. One can always refine the plan as he goes.
– No planning sessions – If one goes through planning withdrawal, one must allow a small, regimented time period for planning. A good way to do this is to schedule a day off-site for senior managers once every quarter. Communication among the parties will improve, one will get a change of scenery, those who are obsessed with planning can get a regular fix and short regular planning sessions allow one to change, duck, and weave according to market conditions. – Not recognizing unknowns. Many plans would be completed much earlier except planners wanted to make sure every issue was examined and every possibility accounted for.
Sometimes, plans are never valid for more than a few minutes after they are completed. So, instead of trying to resolve all unknowns in the plan, one can just make a list of what one does not know, consider that list to be a part of the plan and move on. (Stalker). Planning is also like change management because it deals with the why and how of organizational changes, management of innovation “refers to the understanding of the way innovation processes develop within organizations and the creation of conditions to support these processes” (Institute for Governance Studies, IGS n.
d. ). Therefore, if change management is concerned with the conception, development and implementation of change, management of innovation tackles the same processes but in relation to innovation instead of change. Further, management of innovation aims to discover how to create the conditions conducive to innovative practices. Management of innovation is a handy know-how for managers when there is an effort to develop new products or services, new production and service processes and organizational conditions.
The first condition is called “product or service innovation,” the second is “process innovation” and the last is broadly referred to as “organizational innovation” (IGS, n. d. ). In this regard, it can be seen that goal setting involves tools to keep the organization from becoming stagnant or stunted. Indeed, this is necessary for growth. Innovation is a form of change. The only difference between these two is that change may be any alteration in the organization either as a response to a threat or opportunity or as an anticipatory move to a future change.
It is a simple transition or movement from one point to another, regardless of the direction. Innovation, on the other hand, is an activity that requires “creative capacities” to deliberately invent new ideas (Van de Ven, Angle & Poole, 2000). New products, processes and approaches are all forms of change, but most importantly, they are innovations. They are the outcomes of unique or creative ideas that were developed and implemented by designated individuals to achieve a desired outcome (Van de Ven, Palley, Garud, & Venkataraman 1999).
In this regard, it can be seen that goal setting involves tools to keep the organization from becoming stagnant or stunted. Indeed, this is necessary for growth. Innovation is a form of change. The only difference between these two is that change may be any alteration in the organization either as a response to a threat or opportunity or as an anticipatory move to a future change. It is a simple transition or movement from one point to another, regardless of the direction.
Innovation, on the other hand, is an activity that requires “creative capacities” to deliberately invent new ideas (Van de Ven, Angle & Poole, 2000). New products, processes and approaches are all forms of change, but most importantly, they are innovations. They are the outcomes of unique or creative ideas that were developed and implemented by designated individuals to achieve a desired outcome (Van de Ven, Palley, Garud, & Venkataraman 1999). Innovation, like change, may also be threatening.
It can be remembered that during the industrial revolution era when the assembly line was just newly developed, some workers were against further mechanization and automation, fearing that they would lose their jobs. Yet management of innovation, like change management, must also replace employee resistance with acceptance and participation. It would be helpful to remember the idea developed by George Stalker and Tom Burns (1994) that “technical progress underlies every kind of change in the social order” and alternatively, “technical progress is the outcome of changes in the institution of society.
” Because of the fast-paced world of business and enterprising, organizational leaders must always be set to implement changes and to innovate for their organization’s betterment. Implementing policies regarding change and innovation, however, must be properly planned and must aptly consider the human side of change. Change management and management of innovation are related to each other primarily because both are tools that an organization can use to address pertinent issues.
These two management styles are both expected to deliver results in that the old system is replaced with a better one, or where a novel product, process or culture is enforced to bring about positive outcome to the organization. Further, these two management styles are also the necessary ingredients to continuously promote growth within the company and to prevent stagnation and degradation. Uncertainties in the environment, however, make people generally apprehensive of change and innovation. Their stable niches and comfort zones are threatened.
It is human side of management, therefore, that must handle the resistance of the people. There are several ways of controlling and directing the reactions of the employees, but what is importantly is that they would all eventually become a part of the proposed change so that they can become fulfilled and appreciated members of the organization. Indeed, mapping out all the changes that will be necessary to complete the reinvention process is often impossible, especially since planning needs to go on every day, for the rest of the life of the company, But it is possible to outline goals and guidelines governing reinvention.
One should be careful about how to set goals and guidelines. Some goals are highly subjective, almost ethereal and certainly long term. Others are tangible, tomorrow-oriented goals. During its start-up phase, the primary business goal is simple: consistent solvency. It is a simple goal, but it allows one to understand that the mission, initially was to get the company running and keep it running. There are no fancier goals for many years. REFERENCES Change management. (2007, January 19). In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved April 1, 2007 at:http://en.
wikipedia. org/w/ index. php? title=Change_management&oldid=101816085 Hellriegel, D & Slocum, J (1996). Management. Cincinnati, Ohio: South-Western College. Hine, Alison. Mirroring effective education through mentoring, metacognition and self Reflection. University of Western Sydney, Nepean School of Teaching and Educational Studies Retrieved April 1, 2007 at: http://www. aare. edu. au/00pap/hin00017. htm Sainsbury, John. Cooperating to Compete in the Global Environment. Retrieved April 1, 2007 at: http://72. 14. 253. 104/search? q=cache:6ccSQXBzoF8J:www. affa. gov.
au/corporate_docs/publications/rtf/social_science/countrymatters/sainsbury. rtf+barriers+planning+and+goal-setting+in+Australian+companies&hl=en&ct=clnk&cd=12&gl=ph Nickols, F. (2006). Change Management 101: A Primer. Distance Consulting. Retrieved April 1, 2007 at:from http://home. att. net/~nickols/change. htm Nilakant, V. & Ramnarayan, S. (2006). Change Management. Sage. Stalker, G. M. & Burns, T. (1994). The Management of Innovation. New York: Oxford UP. Van de Ven, A. H. , Angle, H. L. & Poole, M. S. (Eds). (2000). Research on the Management of Innovation. New York: Oxford UP.

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