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Goal-Setting for a Culture of Innovation When You’re NOT at the Top of the Org Chart

Goal-setting remains a very important part of leadership, and guiding mid-level employees toward the kinds of goals that drive innovation can be a great challenge. We have found that closeness to customers is a strong tool for helping goals align with a culture of innovation. So, rather than ask a manager for a proposed set of goals for a quarter or a year, experiment with asking that manager to interview at least three customers – internal or external customers, depending on function – to find out what their goals are in their own work, and in terms of what they receive as customers of your organization. Ask team members to document those interviews, create a set of personal goals with those customer goals in mind, and present both sets of goals together for discussion and approval.