Think Small’ framework provides a road map to make big goals more attainable by taking small steps. B J Foggs in his theory of tiny steps explains a small change or trigger, with the right motivation shapes the behaviour of an individual, to attain the goal they set out for themselves.
The same 7steps can be used to build organisational habits that sticks. The first step is to set out SMART goals. Sustainable, measurable, attainable, realistic and time-specific. The clearer the goals are, the easier it is to make a plan – through small steps to achieve the goal – the bigger picture.
The second step is to embrace the habit of doing something. According to science, it takes 60– days to form a habit hence repeating a similar pattern in terms of behaviour would help any group reach their goal. A team when cocreates and agrees on smaller change, in all likely hood will stick by it. Let’s take exercise, for example, a 5 – 10-minute brisk walk may help get things started and get you moving.
The third step involves making each stakeholder accountable. The best way to do is being open about the goals, continually talking about it and assigning a mentor who can guide and motivate to reach the goal. Hence, the mentor becomes a person who one check-in with to make sure a team is on the right path.
The fourth step highlights incentives as a motivator. The trick here is to make sure that the reward team gets once smaller goals are achieved is something they value and is an effective motivator. A simple 2-hour Jamming session on Friday evening has done a trick for me.
The fifth step discusses humans as social beings. Hence, important is to encourage teams to think in terms of team goals, to discuss challenges and opportunities within or with like-minded friends and ask for help when required. Teams should huddle and share their learnings and track progress.
The sixth step is about creating a culture where one and all are open to creative feedback. What worked for me is to have mentors or someone working alongside with the team to provide constructive feedback on the good and the bad without being judgemental of individual performance. This will enable them to reach their goal more efficiently and effectively.
The last step is to remember the devil lies in the detail. The detailed execution plan, Staying focused, getting feedback and rewarding helps team to further understand their goal and thus motivating them to achieve it.
In conclusion, when setting BHAG (Big Hairy Audacious Goals for self or the team, think small – make it public, get clear feedback from teammates and a mentor, make sure the goal is clear and reachable and you are one step closer to achieving the goal by creating an actionable plan even if it’s just in your head. The mindset matters to make the change, and while we are creatures of habit, the nudge at the right moment and consistency in approach sets the team for success.