Who doesn't love to set goals!
We all set goals (or objectives or outcomes) annually or quarterly, but what we have been trained to do is set Output Goals.
What is an Output Goal?
An Output goal is basically the end result that you want to achieve. It could be launching a new product, entering new key markets, increasing ARR by 20%, changing revenue quality or composition, etc.
Often we use SMART goals as the framework to structure these goals.
There is nothing wrong with Output Goals..............but they don't tell the full story.
What is an Input Goal?
Output goals are necessary, but not enough. Because you never have direct control over the outcome.
But the input is fully under your control. When you set an input goal, it’s up to you to reach it.
Input goals help shape the path you must take, and the activities you must do, to reach your objective (or output).
Take the example Output Goal of launching a new product. Input goals for this could be:
- build MVP
- trial with 5 customers
- launch closed alpha program
- trial with 100 customers
All of these Inputs are directly controllable and our milestones you need to hit to get to your objective.
Input goals are also easier to measure progress over time and they force you to focus on the core actions that matter.
By combining Input goals with Output goals you can make sure you hit more of the small milestones along the way, which will help you get to that eventual goal.
“The great danger for most of us lies not in setting our aim too high and falling short; but in setting our aim too low, and achieving our mark.” - Michelangelo
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