Selbstmanagement und Organisation – wie definiere ich Ziele und bringe sie in die Umsetzung? (Teil 3)

In my March blog, I introduced you to the Disney Method for defining goals. I also promised that I would introduce you to a self-coaching variation on this method—and that’s what I’d like to share with you today.

The Disney Method – self-coaching 

Find four chairs and name each of them according to their roles: the visionary, the realist and the critic. The fourth chair is for entering and exiting the process and takes a meta-position.

Sit down on the meta-position chair and choose a topic you’d like to address today.

As soon as you’ve identified a relevant topic, sit down on the visionary’s chair and consider some questions like these:

  1. What situation are we ideally trying to achieve?
  2. What arguments are in favor of it?
  3. What might a solution look like?
  4. What ideas do we have for a solution?
  5. What’s our vision when it comes to this solution?
  6. What are our options and possibilities?

Afterwards, please switch to the realist’s chair. This is all about implementing the previously dreamed dream, or vision. Ask yourself some questions like these:

  1. What changes will need to be made?
  2. What resources are required?
  3. What costs are involved?
  4. Who will do what, with whom, and by when?
  5. What does the implementation plan look like?
  6. What else would be helpful for the implementation?

After that, switch over to the critic’s chair. Now ask yourself questions like these:

  1. What are the consequences?
  2. What are the risks?
  3. What is missing?
  4. What could be improved?
  5. What mistakes/weaknesses can be identified?

After completing a first round like this, do a second round, and again, start with the visionary’s questions. The findings of all the thinking chairs should be incorporated into this second round and developed further. Be sure to keep a written record of the respective findings.

And now I invite you to try out this process on a personal goal. What are your experiences with this approach? How did it work out for you? Feel free to contact me any time if you’d like my support. 

Until then, wishing you lots of fun and great insights!

Go for it, 

Your crisis manager

In my previous blog article from February, I explained George T. Doran’s SMART formula, which is a proven way for defining achievable goals. In my article, I promised you a second part introducing another method: the Disney Method. It’s named after Walt Disney, who   ran his company according to this approach, and with highly successful results.

The Disney Method

Visionary and perfectionist Walt Disney created this organizational model. He first explained his approach to work in an interview with Robert Dilts: He’d created for himself three different “thinking chairs” – one for the “dreamer/visionary,” one for the “realist” and one for the “critic.”

Whenever he sat on the chair of the dreamer, he allowed himself to

  • be creative,
  • come up with dreams,
  • collect ideas and solutions,
  • have a positive attitude where anything at all was allow.

Once he had finished with the respective thought processes, he moved on to the chair of the realist. On that chair, based on the ideas of the visionary, he only allowed himself, with logic and realism, to

  • develop concrete implementation steps (plan),
  • put together whatever was needed for implementation,
  • distribute the tasks,
  • and determine the implementation costs.

When this perspective was also completed, he sat down in the critic’s chair. Here, in response to the realist, he only allowed himself to

  • carry out evaluations,
  • identify risks and dangers,
  • think of potential threats,
  • look for any weak points and
  • find opportunities for improvement.

He switched between chairs and roles until he was comfortable in all three chairs. Then he separated the thinking chairs both in terms of time and space to avoid disruptions in the process and to be able to fully engage in one view at a time. Later on, he also set up respective rooms in his company for his employees. This is how Walt Disney passed on his work approach to his entire team.

I invite you to give this method a try. In my next article I’ll show you how to transfer the Disney Method to self-coaching.

If you have any questions or would like me to write about a specific topic, feel free to contact me any time. And as always:

Go for it, 

Your crisis manager

Selbstmanagement und Organisation – wie definiere ich Ziele und bringe sie in die Umsetzung?

In the personal sphere, we all like to set goals for ourselves, typically in the form of New Year’s resolutions. In the professional context, we tend to talk about projects. In most cases, however, it remains unclear as to whether we’ll achieve these goals – either resolutions or projects.

Why is that? 

First, we need to ask ourselves whether we’re really, truly keen on pursuing a specific project: Are we intrinsically motivated to do so? Implementation tends to fail because the respective goals were defined at the wrong time or, as the case may be, not correctly defined in the first place.

A proven means for defining goals, which also fundamentally increases the likelihood of implementation, is the so-called SMART formula.

In this blog I’d like to present this very formula to you – even though you may already be familiar with it – as I consider it to be valuable and pragmatic. Let me direct your focus to it once again:

Defining goals according to the SMART formula

The five letters making up the acronym SMART each stand for a specific aspect of the goal, the definition of which should make it both concrete and attainable:

S = specific
M = measurable
A = attractive
R = realistic
T = time-phased

In addition to focusing on these aspects, however, it’s important to consider further steps in the goal formulation so that the envisioned and planned goal can be successfully implemented. Unfortunately, these further steps are often overlooked or forgotten about in practice.

 Here’s a possible sequence:

  1. Goals should be phrased in the present tense. In other words, grammatically, we “act” as if we’ve already achieved them.
  2. The goal should be as specific and concrete as possible (e.g., “I am the leader of the XY-team.” or “I am slimmer.”).
  3. In addition, it should be measurable, so that we make achieving it as concrete as possible (e.g., “I am in charge of 10 employees.” or “I weigh 10 kg less.”)
  4. The goal should be attractive, in other words, desirable, so that we are truly motivated to make the effort to attain it. The more attractive, the higher our intrinsic motivation. Our motivation is also increased if the goal is not just factually appealing, but emotionally appealing, too. 
  5. The goal should also be realistic. Of course, it’s fine to set oneself big goals, but they must always be achievable. The more realistic the definition of a goal, the more likely it is that we will pull it off.
  6. Many goals are never achieved because they are not scheduled. The many unachieved New Year’s resolutions are a typical example of this. Often, they simply peter out. In other words, a well-defined goal should include a target date. (e.g., “On March 31, 2022, I will be responsible for team XY.” or “On September 1, 2022, I will weigh 10 kg less.”)
  7. Another important aspect is the to use the “I” form. Because of course it is I who wants to achieve the goal and not someone else.
  8. Also, the achievement of the goal should be independent of any conditions. So, it should not contain any “if x then y” connections. Conditions such as these would make us too dependent on the “if” event, which may be beyond our control.
  9. And finally, the goal should be achievable without any external help or support, in other words, through our own efforts. Otherwise, we may be putting ourselves in an unfavorable position of dependency.

While at first, it may look as if you need to plan for plenty of time for each goal, this is not the case. You may require a little more concentration at the beginning. But once the application is put into practice, things tend to start moving very quickly – and all the more effectively.

Of course, the SMART formula in and of itself is not a guarantor for goal achievement and implementation, but it certainly takes us a significant step closer to reaching our concrete goals.

In my next blog article, I’ll share with you what additional aspects you should take into account, what alternative ways there are to proceed and what we can possibly do cumulatively.

If you have any questions or are looking for any specific input, just let me know. And as always:

Go for it, 

Your crisis manager