Nov 6, 2016
We like outcomes. They tend to be simple things that we can wrap our heads around. I need to be more focused. I want to lose weight. I should listen more. Focus. Weight Loss. Listen. All outcomes. But are they a “realistic” outcome? Not quite.
A realistic outcome needs an approach.
The approach details precisely how you’re going to assure that outcome will happen. How exactly are you going to be more focused? Are you going to do less? Focus on one thing at a time? Bring in more help? Proactively prioritise? Do more planning? Or a maybe a combination of some or all of these things. A realistic outcome requires you to be clear on the approach as well.
When outcomes are business outcomes, the approach part of the equation is even more critical. The business never prefixes outcome with realistic. Instead, they just expect every outcome to be realistic. So, bake in your approach.
Last year I decided I wanted to reclaim by university body. The outcome I wanted was to lose weight and get back to a sustainable 80kg. At the time I was weighing in at 90kg. I needed a sustainable approach to weight loss that wouldn’t see me rebound back to 90kg. The approach was simple. I needed to get HOT on my Rs. So at the start of 2016, I set myself the challenge, to on average:
• Row Half a mile a day
• Run One mile a day
• Ride Two miles a day
The approach already required that everything I did had to be immediately accessible through digital channels. So I invested in Fitbit. Fitbit gave me all the stats access through my mobile app and watch. I bought the Fitbit wireless scales (Aria) to track weight loss. Everything came together into a single dashboard. With a clear approach, the outcome became realistic. I’m currently on target meet those goals. Today, I’m at 80kg but more importantly, I’m sustaining it.
I’ve found the approach part is just as important as the outcome. Without the approach, the outcome is just a promise. Promises are nice, but I’d much rather have a realistic outcome that I can track and monitor progress against. So, just how realistic are you about the outcomes you’re accountable for today?