Dan Sweet

2009 Goals Recap

I divided my 2009 goals into 3 buckets: LIFE, FRIENDS, CAREER/PRODUCTIVITY.

Here is how I did:
LIFE: 6 for 8
FRIENDS: 4 for 6
CAREER/PRODUCTIVITY: 5 for 8 (2 of the 8 shouldn’t have been goals–more like whims)

I’d call 15 of the 22 solid wins. 2 of the 22 I didn’t accomplish and weren’t important so I get a pass on those. That leaves 5 outstanding to stay on my 2010 list in some form or another. 22 goals is too many and my list will be much shorter in 2010.

Additionally, I am toying with making my goals S.M.A.R.T. as well. SMART goals are a work thing. Specific, Measurable, Actionable, Realistic, Time-Bound. Apparently there are several possible words for every letter of the word SMART as Wikipedia lays out here. I find myself somewhat resistant as it is a lot easier to let things slide and “just be flexible” when you haven’t made specific commitments. I feel like I’ve got a lot going on and don’t want to sign myself up for too much. At the same time, I know that the goals I am most reluctant to set specifics around are the same ones I didn’t achieve in 2009. A little external processing going on right there, but it sounds like I will be making my 2010 goals SMART. I encourage you to do the same.

Internet trivia of the day: Apparently that line about Harvard MBAs with written goals earning great fortunes vs. their peers without written goals is an urban legend. See here for details. Another study was done that demonstrated written goals do help people accomplish more, but huge sums of money may or may not follow.

How to succeed as a finance guy.

I’m sixth months into my first full-time role at P&G.  It is the proverbial drinking from a firehose that I was promised, hence no posting.  During my transition into the company I’ve been asking various folks around the company what success looks like for a finance manager at P&G.  The most compelling response I received is reproduced in the graphic below:

Innovative models, sophisticated analyses, and leading large-scale change.  These are the top of the pyramid elements that we typically associate with high caliber finance professionals.  However, without a firm foundation, the most sophisticated pieces of analysis will go nowhere.  Finance people without integrity aren’t worth much, hence the internal controls piece.  You also can’t make meaningful assumptions if you can’t trust your organization and the people in it.  Owning sound internal controls is the key to ensuring the numbers you work with can be counted on and will be taken seriously by others.  Delivering the business results is the other key piece of the foundation.  Finance managers at P&G are true business partners.  They aren’t just accountants and they don’t just “run the numbers” on ideas that get passed down the chain.  Finance folks are typically present early on  and have significant input at all stages of the planning process.  As a result, finance managers own the business results right along with the sales force, the marketers, and general management.  Once the foundation of sound internal controls and consistent business results is in place, then feel free to trot out your latest greatest data visualization techniques or sophisticated model.  Ignore at your own peril.