The HOT Plan™: Setting up Targets


A target is similar to a goal, but includes a benchmark. It isn’t set up on the fly, and you won’t hit a target by accident. No, not by a long shot.  Specific accomplishments must be achieved to hit the bulls-eye of a target.

HOT Targets are anything but accidental. Creating highly effective HOT Targets has been an evolving process for us. When we began the HOT Plan, we used standard goals, but something seemed to be missing. We kept working at it until finally, with the help of our teams, we got the process right.

The first step to getting target development right was identifying the elements of the target.

We don’t want our employees to feel rushed in the target-setting process. Today, Pitsco’s executive team (Tribal Council) starts the process in late summer for the upcoming calendar year. The team takes a look backward, evaluates the past year’s numbers, opportunities and any unfinished business. This helps Tribal detect trends and set three to five overarching priorities for the coming year, which we call our Must Win Challenges (MWCs).

Once MWCs are selected, Tribal develops a dozen or more Key Initiatives (KIs) — projects listed above the MWCs — designed to be accomplished over the next 12 months. Our executive team completes writing the MWCs and KIs by early fall.

After that, Tribal presents the new MWCs and KIs to HOT Team leaders and department supervisors, who will in turn guide their people to write HOT Targets designed to accomplish the KIs. The input of all team members is invited in the target writing process. Team Targets are completed, assigned points, and submitted for approval by early December.

Each Tribal Council member supervises one or more HOT Teams. The approved list of HOT Targets becomes a master-list, a sort of company “road map” for the year ahead. The entire process is completed and the HOT Targets for the upcoming year are posted online before the staff leaves for the holidays.

When employees return after the holidays, they return in confidence, knowing exactly which targets to aim for first. MWCs, KIs, and HOT Targets work together to pave a focused, profitable, and meaningful pathway for the company in the year ahead.

For more about a how to transform your goals into targets, pick up a copy of my new book, The HOT Plan™, available here in eBook, softcover, and color hardback versions. For special bulk pricing (10 or more books), please visit Follow us on Twitter @thehotplan or FaceBook, or visit for more details about The HOT Plan™.

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