The Corporate Rebels Handbook: Goal-Setting (and Celebrating Successes)

Pim de Morree
Written by Pim de Morree September 10, 2023

This post is part of an ongoing series that gives you an insider’s look at the Corporate Rebels company handbook. If you’re new to this series, we suggest reading the quick intro post that explains why we’re doing this—and what to expect. In today’s post: how we set goals and celebrate success.

As you probably already know, every company needs a direction. After all, how else are you to find something to work toward?

We have a very tailored goal-setting system at Corporate Rebels, one we find quite rewarding in several ways. As always, it's grounded in simplicity.

Let me break it down for you.

The importance of setting goals

We work with quarterly goals. At first, we tried semi-annual goals, but we learned our company and our work changes too quickly. We needed a more dynamic system, so we moved towards quarterly goals.

Each quarter, we go through three distinct phases:

  1. Setting new goals

  2. Tracking and realizing goals

  3. Celebrating success

Here’s what the process looks like for each:

1. Setting new goals

The goals are always set the month before the quarter starts, and we use Basecamp (our internal communications tool) to remind everyone to send in their new goals in time.

Important note: everyone on the team sets their own goals. We don't believe in top-down goal setting. That might not come as a very big surprise though...

We've seen over and over again that people feel way more ownership and motivation when they're in charge of setting their goals.

The quarters coincide with the yearly calendar:

  • Q1: Jan, Feb, Mar
  • Q2: Apr, May, Jun
  • Q3: Jul, Aug, Sep
  • Q4: Oct, Nov, Dec

The goals we set can vary depending on our specific needs at a certain moment in time, such as launching a new website, building a course, setting up partnerships, migrating to a new CRM, designing a new salary model, onboarding new team mates, etc.

The “way of working lead” (I'm currently holding that role), collects the various goals and presents them to the team in our monthly team meeting called Rebel Day (more on that in an earlier post).

On the first Rebel Day of the quarter we seek consent for the goals. If nobody objects, the goals are set and added to 'The Wall' in our office and shared on Basecamp.

Everyone on the team sets their own goals. We don't believe in top-down goal setting.
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2. Tracking and realizing goals

As for tracking, we recently made some changes. For some time, we tracked two main goals (# of academy subscriptions and # of new courses launched), but this felt too restrictive. Therefore, we've let go of that and have just started a new experiment (yes, we constantly tweak the way we work to improve as a team).

Currently, we're tracking the list of goals through a super simple board:

  • To-do
  • In progress
  • Completed

Each month, during Rebel Day, we discuss progress. Of course, each person is responsible for the goals they set themselves.

3. Celebrating success

And now for the really fun part. Each quarter we celebrate our successes as a team. As part of our new goal tracking process, we've started using a simple scoring mechanism for that.

Here’s how it works:

When it comes to celebrations, we set three potential celebrations: small, medium, and large.

The total number of goals completed determines the size of the celebration we get to have:

  • >50% completed: Small celebration

  • >70% completed: Medium celebration

  • >90% completed: Large celebration

Same as with the goals, each quarter we set the celebrations based on input from the team.

The input is turned into a proposal by the 'Way of working lead' and we seek consent from the team on Rebel Day.

An example of options for a quarterly celebration could be:

  • Small celebration: Apres ski party

  • Medium celebration: Indoor ski activity + apres ski party

  • Big celebration: Ski trip to Austria with lots of apres ski parties

Success deserves celebration!

So, there you go. Now you see how we set and celebrate our goals at Corporate Rebels. Of course, this system is unique to our company and may look a little different or even strange to some who are in larger companies with more complex services and metrics, but it certainly works for us.

That being said, there's a good chance we continue fine-tuning our approach as we go. Things are never set in stone here, and we continue involving everyone to upgrade the way we work.

At Corporate Rebels, we understand that achieving goals is only half the battle. Celebrating success is just as important. We hope our inside perspective has inspired you to consider adding some of these elements to your own team or organization.

In our upcoming newsletter, we discuss the hot topic of remote work and get expert insights from one of the world’s leading remote work entrepreneurs.

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Written by Pim de Morree
Pim de Morree
As co-founder of Corporate Rebels I focus on: researching, writing, speaking, and building our company.
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