Achieve Your Goals: Creating an Effective Operating System

By Katie Torres

Every company has goals they wish to accomplish.

To do this, it is essential to create an operating system. This means creating an intentional set of systems and processes to stay focused on what is important.

There are many issues which can arise and get in the way of achieving these goals. Whether it be the rush of day-to-day work, ideas that have flopped, or changes in circumstance, having an effective operating system can alleviate a lot of these problems.

It is often easy to detect the problems, but how do we decide which problems to focus on first? This is where it helps to have an operating system.

At Envoy, this looks like meeting together to discuss goals, problems, and solutions.

We work from a list of what’s working, what’s broken, and what’s missing or confusing, to help us decide which problem areas to focus on. It's like a SWOT analysis, but this method keeps us more focused on growth.

Once we have everything written down, each team member brings their top ten problems to the table. They order them from the most important problem down to the least important.

In the group, we discuss the top five problems of each team member, and then vote from there to pick three problems to focus on. We call these problems “ROCKS”.

Once we have our three “ROCKS”, we assign responsibility to the problems to make sure they are addressed. We discuss the problems. We offer our members a chance to volunteer and take ownership for each problem.

When it comes to assigning responsibility, it helps to keep in mind that the individual assigned to work on the problem should have a role that is in line with their goal. For instance, someone from sales should attack a problem with sales. This is where their expertise is, so it only makes sense for them to use their skills to better that area.

Once responsibility is assigned, we create a deadline. This helps to ensure progress and it creates accountability.

Creating accountability can also be done by setting clear expectations and clear consequences.

Each team member has a KRA, or a Key Results Area. This includes who they report to, how much they make, their job description, and their rocks area. The member’s job description is what determines their salary. Bonuses are given when they effectively achieve their ROCKS related goals.

After KRA’s are determined, there is a weekly update meeting. In this meeting, we discuss what each team member has completed and what each is committing to accomplish within the next week.

Team members then put their ideas into action, and goals are accomplished.

We hope this information helps! If you’d like more information on this topic, be sure to check out this week’s podcast and tune in for future episodes. You can also visit our website to learn more about Envoy and how we operate.