I spent today working with an organization that had three strategic objectives for the year. The first was directly related to making quantifiable progress towards the Vision of the organization. Great. The last was a quantifiable financial objective. Great.
The middle objective was “planned, implementable, strategic cooperation between the (operational units of the organization)”. Rats!
There were 8 people around the table. Every one of the 8 people said that they knew that this was one of the most important things that they needed to do. I asked them each to write down three characteristics of what “strategic cooperation” looked like to them. We had 8 different perspectives of this objective. Everyone agreed that they needed it, but everyone had a different view of what it was. 2 hours later I gave up, but still the only thing that they all agreed was that they needed it. I ditched the issue, circumvented trying to define it further and went straight for an application of what one person wanted out of it (whatever it was). Not very professional of me.
It turns out that it is a lot easier for a team of people to implement a strategic plan when the objectives in the plan are:
Please help yourself and make strategic objectives SMART.