How to Set Challenging Goals and Achieve Them On Time
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Happy New Year 2017!


It's the New Year again, and some may feel that 2017 may be a tough year ahead.


Whatever is the case, we will be providing more tips and strategies on how you can rise up to the challenges and emerge victorious.


Hence, this month's topics:

  1. How to Set Challenging Goals and Achieve Them On Time; and

  2. 3 Simple Steps to Implement Effective and Meaningful Change

This issue's main article is on "How to Set Challenging Goals and Achieve Them On Time", and we look into the causes why certain goals or resolutions are not achieved, and how you can achieve challenging goals on time


In brief:

  • Set Challenging Goals. Challenging goals are more likely to generate better focus and create a sense of urgency, than non-challenging ones;

  • Understand why you need to achieve this goal, and if your goal will lead to your end-objecives;

  • How to get the key stakeholders to agree upon your goals and end objectives that you want to achieve, as having such support is likely to increase your chances of .   Read on... ...

To read the rest of this newsletter, pls. click here ( 

How to Set Challenging Goals and Achieve Them On Time

by c.j. Ng


It's a beginning of a new year, and everybody is setting goals again. Be that personal New Year resolutions or work-related performance targets, this is the time to set goals.


Despite our best efforts, there will be goals that will never be achieved.  So if you are looking to set goals for yourself or your team, here are some critical aspects that might be helpful.


Set Challenging Goals


Interestingly, challenging goals are more likely to generate better focus and create a sense of urgency, than non-challenging ones. Depending on one’s motivational factors, either we would want to rise up to the challenge and gain recognition for great achievements, or that we simply do not want to drop the ball and end up in abject failure.

At the same time though, we also need to be mindful of the challenges that may arise while we journey towards achieving these goals. Setting goals without understanding and be prepared for the upcoming challenges could be merely wishful thinking.


Goals are in a way, choices. As in any choices, there would be the costs (or price) for making that choice. Hence, part of understanding what challenges you need to face when working towards the goal, is to understand what are the costs in terms of time, resources, effort, sacrifices etc., that needs to be invested:


This is as much about making sure you are willing to bear the costs to face the challenge in order to reach your goals, as it is about assessing if achieving your goals is worth the costs.


Why do You Need to Achieve This Goal?


The next issue is that you need to understand why you need to achieve this goal. So if sales people are given a sales target that could be significantly higher than the previous year’s, they might be questioning if such targets are reasonable..


Hence, management may need to explain what are some of the negative consequences if such goals are not achieved, as in “If we don’t achieve 2x growth this year, our competitors will catch up with us and new customers will be buying from them more, than from us.”


At the same time, we also need to know if by achieving these goals, will you reach your end objectives. Here’s an example that many could relate to:

The key thing here is not to ponder over the above examples, but rather making sure that you check if the goal will really lead to your end objectives.


Getting Buy-In for Your Action Steps

More often than not, your goals may require the support and collaboration with others to achieve


Hence, you will need the key stakeholders to agree upon your goals and end objectives that you want to achieve, as having such support is likely to increase your chances of success.


Not only that, you may also need to map out the action steps required in order to reach the goals. Just like by understanding the upcoming challenges will help you in facing them, mapping out the general action steps will help you prepare better to steer your way towards your goal.


Then, as you may need different people to support you and collaborate with you along the way, you can seek the buy-in and support of the most suitable people at for each step towards your goal.


You may refer to our other resources on using Belbin Team roles to find out who are the most suitable people to help and support you for each step of the goal.


Need help in in achieving your goals as a team?  Simply e-mail or call +86-21-6219 0021 or WeChat: cydj001 and arrange to have a deeper discussion.

Power Breakfast Hour: 22 Feb 2017

How to Set and Achieve Challenging Team Goals and Implement Effective Change (Using Belbin)

  • How to set goals that will energise and motivate your team;

  • How to make sure your team will achieve your goals on time;

  • How to gain buy-in, and delegate the right people to the right action steps

VENUE: Crowne Plaza Shanghai • 400 Panyu Road (near Fahuazhen Road) • 上海银星皇冠酒店 • 番禺路 400 号 (靠法华镇路)


DATE: Wednesday, 22 Feb 2017


TIME: 08:30 a.m. - 10:30 a.m.




To make this a more conducive discussion, we are expecting a small group of about 15 people only, so please register early to avoid disappointments. Please e-mail your registrations too


Pls. check out our web sites and for more inspiration.

Tips for Managers:
3 Simple Steps to Implement Effective and Meaningful Change


by c.j. Ng

An important part of the work of a manager is to find ways to implement effective and meaningful changes.

However, most people are resistant to change, either they fear the unknown, or that they are comfortable where they are right now, or it could be other reasons.

So here are 3 simple steps for managers to implement effective and meaningful changes:

  1. Why MUST we change?

  2. What are we going to change into?, and

  3. How should we implement the change?

Most change initiatives dove straight into Step 3: "How to implement the changes."  However, without buy-in on "why we MUST change", and "What are we going to change into", the change initiatives will be bogged down by strong resistance and the lack of support.

One of the cases we had witnessed was that a management team of a sourcing company who was very efficient in their work, was actually very slow and hesitant in implementing changes.  As it turned out, the work of the sourcing company entails a lot of analysing and evaluating suppliers.  If they were to bring the same skill-sets and mind-sets in change management, they will first do a lot of analysis and evaluation on "why change" and "what to change into", before they could even take the first steps in implementing any changes

Why We Must Change


To drive the change efforts, managers will have to ask themselves, and then convince others, "What will happen if we do NOT change?"  Will there be any huge negative consequences if the necessary changes are not being put in effect?


As mentioned earlier, people could either be fearing the unknown, or be comfortable, or both.  People generally don't want to change UNLESS they have to.  Illustrating vividly the dire consequences of not taking action to change, is likely to kick-start people into taking some form of action.

What Are We Going to Change Into


Merely telling people why they need to change is a first, crucial step.  However, this does not  necessarily mean that people will take the action and make the change.  For people who are afraid of an unknown future, they will need some assurances about where they are heading towards.


Hence, managers will need to paint a picture or tell a story about what the future looked like.  What will be the direction the company is heading towards, and why that is a place that all of us wanted to be.


Only then will we be going into the details of how to implement the change.


Does that mean that the change will be easy?  No, definitely not.  Because we are now in an environment that is VUCA (Volatile, Uncertain, Complex and Ambiguous).  There could be a lot more changes than we wanted, and new changes may even arise well before the previous changes have been implemented.


Worse still, we may not even know exactly what we are going to change into.


But that will be a discussion for another day.


Need help in getting better results for your change management efforts in a VUCA world? Simply e-mail or call +86-136 7190 2505 or Skype: cydj001 and arrange to buy me a mocha. All information shall be kept in confidence.

Directions Management Consulting


Directions Management Consulting is the partner of LeadershipIQ in China and Asia. LeadershipIQ helps more than 125,000 leaders every year through the facts drawn from one of the largest ongoing leadership studies ever conducted is used to help companies apply resources where the best possible results be achieved.


In addition, Directions Management Consulting is a leading provider of sales performance, innovation and experiential learning solutions in China and many parts of Asia.


Using the Belbin Team Role Profiling is the sales performance arm of Directions Management Consulting specialising in conducting training, research and consulting services for sales managers and their team.


Currently, Directions Management Consulting has served clients such as Delphi Packard, InterContinental Hotels Group, Alcoa Wheels, Standard Chartered Bank, Merial, ThyssenKrupp, Lowe's Global Sourcing, Diehl, Kulzer Dental etc.


Directions Management Consulting will increase its efforts to conduct leadership studies in China and other parts of Asia, so that more companies apply resources where the best possible results be achieved in this part of the world.d.


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