Goal Setting for 2022 Using the Helm

Written in collaboration with Ana Maria Barella, Masterwork LLC

The last two years have been full of ambiguity, and you may feel apprehensive about what’s in store for 2022. Will we continue to see constant change? Will we be able to return to the office? Will we settle into new patterns?

The ongoing uncertainty might make it more challenging to prepare for the new year, but you can use the Leading from the Helm methodology to take command with purpose.

As a leader, you can follow the spokes of the Organizational Helm to reflect on where you are and set both professional goals and team goals for the coming year.


Strategy is your true north. This is your mission, your vision, and the purpose of your organization. It’s what you want everything and everybody aligned to. Strategy is about choosing what you will and won’t do in developing a winning advantage over your competition.

Reflect: How clear is our sense of purpose? How aligned are we around a common vision?

Look ahead: If we were to assess strategy on a scale of 1-10, what would a 10 look like? How far off of that are we, and what steps can we take to make up the difference?

Take it to the team: Now that we know where we want to go in 2022, how can we get there? How can our team leverage individual strengths to come together toward a shared purpose? How will we know that we are working strategically toward a common goal?

Many organizations begin the year thinking about strategy, but how often do you look to align yourself and your team to that strategy? Perhaps 2022 is the year you find the connection between your work and the mission of your organization.


Leadership is necessary at all levels within the organization, not just the C-suite or management team. A key aspect of the Leading from the Helm model is the idea that everyone has leadership within them, and how well you celebrate that individual leadership can make a strong impact on organizational and team effectiveness.

Reflect: Does our organization give all individuals the opportunity to fulfill their unique potential to lead? How do the members of our team recognize leadership within each other? (The 4 Colors of Insights is a great starting point in determining individuals’ preferences!)

Look ahead: How can I honor my unique talents and strengths? Where do I shine in my work? Where are there opportunities to lead in a new way?

Take it to the team: How can we bring out the best in our team – in each other? What opportunities do we see for individuals to grab the helm on tasks and projects that fit within their interests and skills?

Leadership goals should take the entire team into account. While you may be the manager, trusting your colleagues to take initiative where they have a unique skillset or special interest can empower and engage them in a novel way, which can lead to new and improved results.


Culture is how work gets done within an organization. When you build a purposeful culture of trust, you encourage alignment to the strategy and ensure that organizational goals are achieved.

Reflect: How would we describe the culture within our organization and team? How can we consider the continuums within the 8 Styles of Culture and be honest about any shifts that may have occurred over the last two years?

Look ahead: What aspects of our culture do we want to nurture? How can we make space for the kind of environment we want to encourage moving forward?

Take it to the team: How does the team view the current culture, and what do we hope to see in 2022? What changes can we make to foster a purposeful culture of trust?

Your culture may have shifted with a change to virtual or hybrid work environments. We recently broke down how to solidify culture in a virtual workplace. Check out that blog post here.


Now more than ever, teamwork is critical to the success of your organization. If ever there were a time to focus on reimagining, reengaging, and reigniting your team, it’s going into 2022. We’re all settling into new patterns, there’s a wave of changes as individuals reassess what they want to do (yes, we’re talking about the Great Resignation), and teams are adjusting to new ways of collaborating.

Reflect: Is our team as effective as it could be? How can we balance our approach to serving our organizational purpose, each other, and our customers? How can team members connect in a changing work landscape?

Look ahead: How can I encourage team members to work together better in 2022? What steps can I take to ensure my team is gelling, especially if we’re changing how work gets done within the organization?

Take it to the team: How can the team be part of the solution? How can we keep communication open and cooperation high no matter what collaboration looks like in the new year?

The strength of your team is both an indicator and influence on the strength of the organization. Taking the time to build strong teams can help improve overall organizational effectiveness.


Employee engagement – a leading performance indicator for any organization – relates to the connectiveness and commitment an employee has toward their work, their team, and their organization’s shared purpose. Employees demonstrate their engagement in their work and by the way they feel, think, and act in alignment with the shared organizational purpose to produce an outcome that helps to reach and exceed intended goals.

Reflect: How engaged are employees? How can we tell? How often do we formally assess employee engagement?

Look ahead: How can we implement a regular cadence of employee engagement surveys (rather than an annual benchmark) to keep a real-time pulse on how employees feel? What would an actively engaged employee look like, and what steps can we take to help employees move in the right direction?

Take it to the team: When can we hold informal conversations with to check in as teammates? How can we use the 8 Factors of Engagement as a guide to make sure each employee has what they need to both excel in their work and engage in the purpose of the organization?

Employee engagement directly impacts organizational effectiveness and can make or break your 2022 goal setting activities. Promoting an employee-led culture of continuous engagement can make it easier to achieve other goals you set for your team in 2022.


Effective process management is central to the success of your organization and therefore likely a primary focus in your professional and organizational goal setting for 2022. A strong process for getting work done allows you to align business functions with customer requirements while enhancing productivity and efficiency.

Reflect: Are our processes as streamlined as they could be? What bumps or gaps exist along the route from start to finish? What new hurdles have arisen in the shift to digital or hybrid work environments?

Look ahead: How can following a process management method like Lean Six Sigma help identify opportunities for improvements so we can build an action plan?

Take it to the team: Where are we noticing bottlenecks or experiencing inefficiencies in our individual roles? What adjustments can we make to improve processes for 2022? How can we set a rubric to know a change is having a positive effect?

Simple adjustments to work processes – especially as the team adjusts to new digital or hybrid work environments – can have a big impact in the new year.


You want to delight your customers so they keep coming back to you time and time again. You want them to be net promoters of your organization by speaking highly of your products and services. You can do this by listening to your customers’ needs and working to meet those needs.

Reflect: How are we serving our customers? How are we meeting their requirements? How are we delighting them? How do we avoid approaching customers in a one-size-fits-all manner when looking for solutions to their needs or problems?

Look ahead: What does the optimal experience look like for our target customer (using the 8 Qualities of Customer as a guide)? What steps do we need to take to get to that ideal state?

Take it to the team: As a team, what do we believe our target customer is looking for in our product or service? Where do we excel at meeting those needs, and where can we work together to better meet those needs?

Creating a culture that’s centered on customer experience and satisfaction is one way to see positive results in the new year. Delight your customers by meeting their actual needs rather than pushing a universal solution that might not apply to their unique experiences.


This is the revenue, the return on investment, the satisfaction of the patient, the profitability, the outcomes for the community, or return on taxpayer dollars. In short, this is where organizational strategy sessions tend to focus. We recommend setting results goals in tandem with other goals from around the Helm for a more meaningful and holistic outcome.

Reflect: What does success look like? Is it having loyal customers who value what we do? Is it retaining engaged employees who buy into our purpose every day? Perhaps it involves having the trust, culture, and processes in place to drive continuous improvement and growth. How close are we to that measure of success now? What do we want to be able to say about our preferred measure of success a year from now?

Look ahead: What results do we seek to achieve in 2022, and how can implementing a model like the Balanced Scorecard guide us to those desired results? What changes need to be made to get where we want to go?

Take it to the team: How are our organization’s results influenced by employee experience, performance, and development? What steps can we take to allow individuals to take ownership of our respective contributions to results goals? What improvements do we need to make to drive organizational results?

While many organizations start with results when considering their strategic imperatives for the new year, we see it as part of a bigger picture: the holistic, balanced Leading from the Helm methodology for organizational effectiveness. Yes, set results-based goals for 2022, and also consider other goals along the Helm that will contribute to those results as well.

Setting professional and team goals can feel overwhelming, especially after the last couple of years we’ve collectively experienced. But there’s also something powerful about taking command of the ship as you navigate out of rough waters. Following the Leading from the Helm model can point you in the right direction and empower your team to set goals that will raise the bar as we settle into the future of work.

Throughout 2022, we’ll feature each spoke of the Helm to offer a more in-depth look at how to leverage the Leading from the Helm methodology within your organization. If you’re ready to get started today, we’re happy to guide you through. Schedule a free consultation to see how the Helm can help you meet your organizational goals.