Posts Tagged ‘goal’

Energized, But Goal-less

December 16, 2013 2 comments

If you’ve read more than a couple of posts on this gawd-forsaken blawg, then you might have correctly arrived at the conclusion that Dilbert cartoonist Scott Adams is one of my all time favorite people. In his latest, laughingly good read, “How to Fail at Almost Everything and Still Win Big: Kind of the Story of My Life“, Scott shares his sole reason for blogging:

The main reason I blog is because it energizes me. I could rationalize my blogging by telling you it increases traffic on by 10 percent or that it keeps my mind sharp or that I think the world is a better place when there are more ideas in it. But the main truth is that blogging charges me up. It gets me going. I don’t need another reason.

Ding! That’s Ed Zachary why I blog too. I blog for the energy boost. I’m not actively hoping to achieve anything specific when I blog. I just do it… to do it. Every time I click the “Add New Post” button on my WordPress dashboard and I’m presented with an inviting, blank, white canvas, I have no freakin’ idea what goo will get splotched onto it and subsequently launched into the ether.

energy boost

But wait! Scotty also pens this:

Throughout my career I’ve had my antennae up, looking for examples of people who use systems as opposed to goals. In most cases, as far as I can tell, the people who use systems do better. The systems-driven people have found a way to look at the familiar in new and more useful ways. To put it bluntly, goals are for losers. That’s literally true most of the time. For example, if your goal is to lose ten pounds, you will spend every moment until you reach the goal—if you reach it at all—feeling as if you were short of your goal. In other words, goal-oriented people exist in a state of nearly continuous failure that they hope will be temporary.

W00t! I’m not a “goal-oriented” person either. I never have been and, up until now, I’ve often felt weird as “A Man Without A Country, uh, I mean, Goal“. After all, it’s difficult not to feel weird when you’re surrounded 8 hours a day by lots of goal-oriented people, most of whom auto-expect everybody else to be goal-driven too.


Scott Adams is a rare bird. To me, he’s a dirty rich dude who deserves to be dirty rich. Unlike many dirty rich people, he’s a a creator with a sense of humility. A real gem.

Goal Setting

September 13, 2013 Leave a comment

Given the generic control system model below, how can we improve the performance of an underachieving production system?

Intact CS

One performance improvement idea is to make the goal directly visible to the production system; as opposed to indirectly via the policy/process actions of the actuators.

Goal Visibilty

A meta-improvement on this idea is to allow the production system constituents direct involvement in the goal setting process.

Goal Setting

It seems to make naive sense, doesn’t it? Well, it does unless the goal is some arbitrarily set financial target (“increase market share by 10%“, “decrease costs by 5%“, “increase profits by 25%“) pulled out of a hat to temporarily anesthesize Wall Street big-wigs.

Categories: management Tags: ,
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