In 1993 GE decided to start dreaming. They called this new Dream-setting process “stretch-goals”. “Stretch-goals” are seemingly out-of-reach objectives that disrupt the status quo. They inspire, force you out of your comfort zone and lead to changes that put the impossible within reach.
What GE did next in their Dream-setting process, transformed those dreams into reality. The identified daily, specific action steps that helped move them closer to realizing each of their dreams. In short, they set daily goals, daily to-do’s.
When you Dream-set you define each dream and then create specific goals, 100% achievable action steps, around each dream. You them break those goals down into daily action steps and start walking. Eventually, at the end of your walk, you achieve the goal. Then you move on to the next goal, break that goal down into daily action steps and start walking again. You keep doing this until you achieve each one of your goals. When you complete all of the goals behind each dream, that is when you realize your dream. Then you move on to the next dream, and start the process all over again.
GE’s Dream-setting strategy made Jack Welch a legend. Without it he would have been just another ordinary GE CEO. Dream-setting engages both parts of the brain – the old brain and the new brain. The old brain, also known as the subconscious brain (brain stem and limbic system), swallows the dream whole, tying it to your emotions. The new brain, also known as the conscious brain (neo-cortex), becomes engaged once you start planning out your action steps – your goals. When you Dream-set you get both parts of the brain working in synchrony towards one broad objective – the dream. Dream-setting takes you out of your complacent, hum drum existence and turns on your entire brain. Defining your dream, creates an itch. Creating goals, or 100% achievable action steps, scratches that itch.