Extraordinary Team Blog

4 Criteria for a Meaningful and Worthwhile Strategic Objective

Posted by Kristin Arnold on January 30, 2017

shutterstock_277372325I 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:

  1. 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.”
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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!

For valuable tips and strategies for building your own extraordinary team. Subscribe to this monthly newsletter today.

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.

Recent Articles:

Six Sigma tool SIPOC Plus the Customer Experience

Goal Setting: 4 Major Elements to Getting What You Want

Stretch your Leadership Team’s Ability to Think Strategically

Photo (canva.com)

 
  • Charlie Tombazian

    Really appreciate your 4 Criteria for a Strategic Objective. Should be easy to run any Strategic Objective up against those 4 to determine if you have a “good” one. I couldn’t help but wonder how you handle the common situation where leaders differ in how they define what a Strategic Objective is? Since there are no standard definitions for Strategic Planning terminology, what to some is a strategy, to others is an objective. To some a Mission, others a Purpose or Vision. And which ones should be measurable? And which ones not? How do you handle the terminology differences across leaders in a strategic planning session you facilitate?