Last week, I made the journey down to London to see ABBA Voyage.

Beyond the music, which was a lot of fun, the staging and the show were outstanding… world-class, in fact… they threw everything at it. What made it so good… it was the little things.

  • Avatars casting a shadow on the floor
  • Adding real musicians to the set, giving that organic ‘live’ music feel
  • Stage lighting and effects that moved and extended out from the stage throughout the audience and back again
  • Virtual band members speaking to the audience just like a real show, dropping in local references
  • The whoops, calls, and applause back from the audience to the stage

It was all a stunning attention to detail, rewarded by the whole audience forgetting it was not really live, leaping to their feet, singing and dancing to the biggest hits… I had a great time.

Setting Ambitious Goals

Such ambition and commitment to delivering a high-quality output is fantastic to see and made me reflect.

It got me thinking about how they must have had some really ambitious goal-setting sessions, along with what must have seemed like an almost infinite set of “what if” discussions, “how can we improve,” and “let’s make it even better” iterations, to achieve such a high-quality output.

Back in the corporate world, typically these goal-setting sessions can be a fraught process.

Businesses tend to want higher performance each year, setting stretch, and super-stretch goals to get results. These are often handed out from high, cascaded down through the organization, to be met with a few ‘how can we do this’ grumbles, followed by begrudging acceptance and becoming your written objectives for the year.

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Employees, however, may actually want something completely different… a sense of mastery in the job, new skills, maybe the bonus, but most certainly to keep their job.

Yes, they may say they have bought into the objectives set… but have they really… Or is there actually an off-the-books hidden set of objectives they have? When these diverge, you can get to see problems. When they align amazing things are possible.

The Venn Diagram

It seems we need to be better at finding this sweet spot, the intersection in the Venn diagram between corporate and personal objectives, to be really successful.

All too often, it is easy to be off-center, going through the motions, not listening or being transparent, and missing the opportunity to unlock the full potential within our teams. This can restrict our ability, unlike at ABBA Voyage, to achieve the extraordinary.

So maybe this year, it is time to remove the fear of failure, listen carefully, and find the sweet spot between business and personal growth… set ambitious goals and, of course then, iterate the heck out of it.

I mean who would not look back after working on something amazing and not enjoy saying proudly… “I worked on that”… Food for thought this year end.

Have a good rest of the week, everyone.

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