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4 Ways To Define Winning That Will Transform Your Business Organizations can't succeed if they don't know what success means

By Andrea Olson Edited by Micah Zimmerman

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Businesses gauge their performance typically with dozens of goals and metrics. But you can't do everything at once. The challenge is to get people focused on the one thing that's most important right now. If it moved in the right direction, it would eliminate a weakness (or capitalize on an opportunity) and improve financial outcomes. You improve that, and you win.

However, not every company clearly defines winning. A catalog of goals can pull the organization in multiple directions and stretch finite resources. Numerous goals can inherently be at odds, working against each other and for conflicting purposes. For example, a cost reduction goal might undermine an innovation goal requiring a significant investment.

Alternatively, goals can be disconnected from what directly influences the organization's ability to win. Consider a company that aims to increase sales by 10% by the end of the year. If the team achieves it, is that a win? It depends. What if the sales team (to reach the goal) focused on pushing low-margin products, resulting in high sales but low profit? What if the team surpassed the target, exacerbating profit losses?

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