We recently facilitated a roundtable event in Boston on "The Future of Performance Reviews" - We had some great presentations and discussions from local startup superstars like Next Jump, Raizlabs and Dyn.
One of the tidbits that came up was something mentioned by Gary from Raizlabs - Gong-Worthy Goals. At Raizlabs, employees declare a goal that is "worthy of banging the company gong.” By definition it needs to be something that is a significant stretch. They have a few of their own examples on their blog.
I thought this was a great idea. Aside from the endeavor of it, something else about it grabbed me. By declaring the goal within the company, you also get the buy-in of the team.
The thing about a Gong-Worthy Goal is that it’s a very personal endeavor that gets "updraft" from the support of others. Assists from the team can range from encouragement, a simple retweet or a useful network connection.
The nice thing about this is that people can collaborate and celebrate success in a new way. Not only do you want your peer to hit their gong - you've got their back trying to get there. And vice versa.
This introduces a novel team dynamic. New ties and situations where people will come together in novel ways. Maybe that Engineer who wants to create a industry-leading blog needs a steer from the marketing team. Or the team who's responsible for co-ordinating events. Or the CEO. This type of novel interaction is an crucial part of team-effectiveness and fostering innovation.
Sometimes finishing that obstacle course is as much about the encouragement and assists you get along the way.