Excellence University Blog

WATER Tip: Aligned Activities

by Dr. Brian Higley

December 26th, 2010

Good activity alignment is achieved via constant attention to how well the completion of simple “Yes-No” Activities (small activities that are either “done or not done”) help with the achievement of SMART Goals (the specific, measurable steps toward fulfilling broader objectives).  An indication of good activity alignment is reduction in two major barriers to Execution Excellence:

  1. fewer instances of individuals “feeling busy” with a lot of activities without actually helping to achieve their SMART Goals and
  2. fewer instances of wasted time, energy and revenue spent on daily activity that does not lead to goal achievement (or, Yes-No Activities that are not powerfully aligned with SMART Goal achievement in observable ways, including complaining, worrying, and/or sabotaging others’ efforts).

For example, if one exhibits strong activity alignment in relation to a SMART Goal (such as: “Take out all trash every Wednesday before 9AM”), one’s Yes-No Activities aligned with that SMART Goal (e.g. “Empty the trash in one waste basket in a particular room”) frequently result in: (a) less time spent thinking about all the barriers to doing so (e.g., How to avoid emptying a trash can by fixating on the barriers to achieving the goal) and (b) less energy spent on activities not aligned with the SMART Goal in question (e.g., spending valuable time that could be spent on emptying a trash can on convincing others that emptying trash cans is impossible or unfair, trying to stop others from emptying their own trash cans because it may make one look bad when one does not do so as quickly or consistently).

Obviously, a lack of strong activity alignment is a major block to Execution Excellence; it is critical that time, energy and money be focused on Yes-No Activities that actually help achieve SMART Goals (rather than on simply identifying all the barriers to doing so, trying to get others to affirm that helpful activities are not possible/reasonable to perform, and/or trying to decrease the probability that others complete helpful activities to avoid being asked to do so oneself as well).

  • NOTE TO THOSE USING THE MISSION FULFILLMENT SYSTEM A common indicator of strong activity alignment are fewer instances of feeling as though SMART Goals are impossible to achieve on deadline.  For instance, if one exhibits the ability to align their activities with “Take out all trash every Wednesday before 9AM,” there is less energy wasted on wondering if it can be done and more focus on how to address possible barriers to doing so.  Your system indicates strong Activity Alignment via high  Personal “Go-Active %” scores (scores of 80 and above) on your Progress/People subtab.  This subtab is located to the right of the Progress/Items subtab on the upper left-hand side of the main Progress Tab (Personal Go-Active % scores are located on the far right-hand side of the screen, and are displayed as bar graphs).
  • FOR THOSE WHO ARE NOT ON THE MISSION FULFILLMENT SYSTEM: Click here to for more information and click here to sign up.

FINAL NOTE: If you were linked to this article by a video or email, please return to that link and proceed with any other instructions that you deem helpful.

Article Filed under: 1. WATER Game Scorecard Tips

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