I was facilitating a mastermind of manufacturing executives when we started chatting about strategic plans – and more specifically, about what makes a strategic objective “good?” So I offered up my four criteria for a worthwhile strategic objective, and since they scribbled this down in their notes, I thought it might be something worth sharing with you!
For a strategic objective to be meaningful and worthwhile, it should be:
- Cross Functional. It should cut across functional boundaries. Ideally, it should involve the entire organization. If it belongs to just one function, then just let that functional head take care of it. It’s not “strategic.”
- Long Term. It should take more than one year to complete. If it takes less than one year, it’s operational and belongs in your business plan, not your strategic plan.
- Directly Connected to the Strategy. This kinda sounds obvious, but you would be surprised at how many objectives have a rather loose connection to the mission, vision, values and/or strategic statement. Make sure the team can clearly articulate how this specific strategic objective will help the business.
- Inspire Passion. So you have this strategic objective that everyone know we should do, but if you don’t have a passionate, committed team willing to do what it takes to make it a reality, then it simply won’t get done. There will always be something more important that will get in the way. Make sure your team is passionate and committed to the objective.
When finalizing your strategic objectives, make sure they meet ALL four criteria – You’ll be well on your way to success!
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KRISTIN ARNOLD, MBA, CPF, CSP is a high stakes meeting facilitator and professional panel moderator. She’s been facilitating teams of executives and managers in making better decisions and achieving greater results for over 20 years. She is the author of the award-winning book, Boring to Bravo: Proven Presentation Techniques to Engage, Involve and Inspire Audiences to Action.
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