As one who is working on getting my own business up and going in this down time you hear a lot about goals that we’re to set. However, having worked for a number of organizations in my life I always come across both managers (who don’t get it), leaders (who are the ones that get it), and others that have a misunderstanding of what each of the above terms in the title mean.
When you look at trying to accomplish something there is always the basic assumption that a certain process is to be followed in order do accomplish something. So here are some basic definitions
Outcomes: a goal to be achieved
Output: that amount that is defined by a process that is clearly defined
Capability: that step by step process to achieve a certain result, regardless of any outside influence
How can we understand this principle, by way of a math formula
1 + 1 + 1+ 1 = 4
The output, or result, is “4” and the process capability is the “1 + 1 + 1+ 1” and here’s where it gets dicey. Our outcomes is to be “10” and that’s what we want.
Most technicians look at only the “1 + 1 + 1+ 1” while only managers look at the “4” and needing to get to “10” with neither of them seeing both the process and the results at the same time.
Where managers and technicians, versus leaders and leader technicians, miss out is not seeing HOW things get done and don’t see the complete picture of both parts. This normally involves understanding how much time and money is needed to get the job done. Out of touch managers only see the results, out of touch technicians only see the process, and since managers define the process that technicians are to follow, fail to change the process to achieve the outcome of the amount of “10,” in essence, handcuffing technicians to only producing the same amount of “4” until it changes.
Outcomes, or goals, are where the delta, or difference, is between what you can achieve and where you want to be. Because of the formula you’ll either need to change the process, i.e. personally growing yourself or how the process is designed, or change the goals or outcomes that you want to achieve.
As an example, it was never thought that man could break the four minute mile run, but break it we did. We also thought we’d never break the sound barrier, but we did. However, I don’t think man will ever break the sound barrier running, the process capability of a human without the aid of a machine makes it impossible.
Good employees and leaders see both at the same time and BOTH work to achieve the desired results.
Redefine the process and you can redefine the output to achieve new and improved results. Have a Happy New Year and see what you can change in order to achieve new results.