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Sandy’s “Goal Setting” Thoughts

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Want a counter-intuitive lesson on goal setting? How about: not setting goals! Well, perhaps allowing goal-free time, to be more precise. Most advice on goal setting or time management in the workplace implies the need for order, structure and regimentation.

It’s important though, to ensure that you and your colleagues allow yourself time to think. My suggestion, that is used in a number of big corporations, is to devote 15% of your time to development of profitable ideas. In fact, one notable business success story indicates how sticking to just such a free-time policy has paid a world-famous dividend

In 1968, 3M scientist Dr Spencer Silver discovered a formula for a glue which didn’t seem to work properly. It was sticky, but didn’t stick! Another failed experiment?

Possibly, if not for the predicament of a colleague.

Silver’s colleague Art Fry was experiencing a problem. A very frustrating problem. Whilst singing in the church choir his book marks kept falling out of the hymnal, causing him to lose his page. Fry needed a repositionable note, one which would stick, but would not remain stuck. Six years after Silver’s “failed” experiment, Fry remembered his colleague’s low-tack glue.

You may think the story ends here and that the rest is history, but connecting a problem to a possible solution was only the beginning. Using 3M’s 15% rule, it took Fry another three years to create a practical product. Post-it notes were first introduced in 1977, and were in mass production by 1980. Today, Post-it is a globally recognized brand, with around 600 products.

I encourage everyone to spend some time each week looking for creative ideas that would make our lives more successful or easier. Setting some time for new business ideas and development can really enhance your ability to capitalize on their potential.

Bottom line: Create the space and provide the time for creativity in order to take your business forward. Think about this as you go about your week.


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