In my life outside of the Clippers, I often spend a lot of time with companies helping them to articulate and define what their goals should be for future performance. As we reflect on the coming season, it feels as though now might be a good time to apply those techniques to our beloved Clippers.
We spend a lot of time on this site discussing goals, but usually they are either much too broad (e.g., make the playoffs, 50 wins, etc.) or much too isolated (e.g., firing Dunleavy or trading Kaman will solve all of our problems). My experience in the business world (and I believe it to be true here) is that rarely is it the case that one thing will solve a systemic problem – no matter how crucial it is.
Thus, I propose we each come up with a list of ten concrete operational goals that, if accomplished, would each fulfill our personal definition of “success” for next season. I’m not suggesting how you should define your goals, because after all, success is often a subjective thing and I don’t want to impose my view of success on any of you just as I wouldn’t want you to do it to me. But I would like to believe that each person will hold him/herself accountable to their stated goals over the coming season. No coming back and complaining about the Clips’ futility if they accomplished many of your stated goals.
A few rules: The goals should not be about what I term “overall performance” i.e., wins/losses or even making the playoffs. My feeling is that if we succeed in the correct ten operational goals, team performance will take care of itself in the long run. Also, there must be ten goals – no putting up one goal like “Sterling must sell the team” and asserting that is the solution. If you can only come up with one goal, you’re thinking about the exercise at too high a level.
Some guidance: when setting goals – whether it be life goals, work goals or Clipper goals – I always follow the mantra of “aggressive yet achievable.” Goal setting that is too aggressive leads to inevitable disappointment. Goal setting that is too achievable leads to sandbagging. Also, I always try to come up with quantifiable metrics where possible, but it’s not a requirement. Just because something is qualitative doesn’t mean it can’t be assessed. But you’d be surprised how often something can be quantified.
For 2009-10, my goals for the Clips are the following:
I had many others (e.g., Camby, Novak, DJ, Mike Taylor), but these were the top ten that, if achieved, I would look back on the 2009-10 season and say “wow, that was a really satisfying season.”
So I've revealed my hand. Time for everyone else to lay down their cards.