Partial objectives

  The further we are from a given goal the more abstract this goal appears to us. We can only imagine with relative difficulty what it must be like when the goal is achieved. It is also correspondingly impossible to plan in detail how we wish to achieve this goal. In such cases it makes sense initially to strive for partial goals, which can be brought to reality more quickly and therefore appear to be more practically attainable. These partial goals can lead us like signposts to the greater goal. In doing so it is entirely possible that we do not reach the greater goal by the most direct route but take certain diversions.

We can compare this with travelling to a far-away destination: If I wish to travel by car from Zürich to Warsaw, I first of all establish on an outline map the stopover points of my journey. There are naturally many ways of getting to Warsaw from Zürich by car. Whether I travel via Germany or Austria is thereby not important. I simply decide on a particular route and then set off.

If on the other hand I wish to travel to Warsaw from Zürich on foot then this venture would take several weeks, and because of the many influences which are still unknown at present, it is very difficult to plan in detail. I will therefore generally establish the route and then make concrete plans in advance for two-three days at a time. Under way I will meet lots of other people who will be able to offer suggestions for particularly attractive routes. In addition my physical state will also have a great influence on the plans. With the relatively late fine planning I will remain flexible and easily be able to adapt my route to the changed situation.

This procedure is obviously certainly not revolu­tionary but it has proved to be valuable over many years in business life. The long term objectives are initially set up as goals for the next twelve months. To achieve these goals we then split this year further down into quarters, months and weeks. It is only the short term objectives which are planned in detail each time.