Monday, December 6, 2010

Visions, goals and tasks.

There is a lot of confusion surrounding this topic. A major contribution to this confusion is the idea of SMART goals. (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Timely).

Let us take the goal of the First Malaysian GM as an example. Now to reach this goal we have to contend with 2 factors. The known unknowns which is the things we know we do not know. One of which is how to teach our kids creatively, to make chess interesting enough so that they can pursue this on their own steam later without spoon feeding or hand holding etc etc.

The second factor is the unknown unknowns. That is what we do not know that we do not know. For instance, we cannot forsee the changing forces in chess, we cannot accurately see the exact attributes that our GM must have to take the pressure cauldron of International competition and we cannot predict whether that competition will increase or decrease over time.

We will of course be better at all these after our First GM but not before. Right now we only have a few clues and are still guessing at best.

So we cannot use SMART goals as a tool. This is the better tool. Here. Understanding this will take us further.

So SMART goals should be renamed as SMART tasks. For only tasks can be SMART because all is known.

As for Vision, I have found that Vision is best expressed as intangibles. Meaning that we should state qualities that will bring forth a strong player. Qualities like integrity, confidence, an enquiring mind, a still mind, a balanced individual etc.

The Vision acts as a guide for the goal so we can correct course if we veer. By placing tangibles we can short circuit our goals. Why? Because the unknown unknowns may create a conflict with tangibles simply because we dont know yet.

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