Why a S.M.A.R.T. Strategy Really Is Smart
There is a familiar saying you may have heard, "Success has many fathers, and failure has none." This can easily be applied to strategic planning. Of course, everyone wants to take credit for a highly successful strategic plan but who wants to be responsible for one that fails? No one!
And yet, over many years of consulting I have heard pretty much every imaginable excuse for not having a formalized strategic plan. Some of the most common excuses are, "We’re going to think about doing this next year once we get some things cleared up" to "Strategic planning is for the big guys, not our smaller organization" or "We don’t really know how to do that so we just use what’s worked in the past."
The facts concerning strategic planning are equally surprising. Research shows that approximately 90 percent of all U.S. businesses lack a formal strategic plan and of those organizations with them, only 10 percent say they fully implement it throughout their organization. So if you and your organization find yourself in the majority you should consider asking yourself the following questions:
- Can our organization become better focused with a strategic plan?
- Do we have the capacity and smarts to deliver more value?
- Is there a way to help our people become more productive?
- What is the potential for our organization to increase our revenues?
These are the types of questions that a S.M.A.R.T. strategy plan answers which can lead to substantial improvements in how an organization operates and communicates with its key customers. The key to their success is S.M.A.R.T. objectives need to be extremely easy to explain, understand, and to do. We have Peter Ducker’s "Management by Objectives" to thank for building the S.M.A.R.T. criteria. Here now are five keys to a S.M.A.R.T. strategic plan to get you thinking.
Tom Marin is the Founder and President of MarketCues, Inc., a national consulting firm. He has worked for some of the world’s largest corporations and middle-market firms. Tom’s focus is to help CEOs drive their strategy shifts and strategic growth programs. Follow MarketCues on Twitter. Tom also welcomes emails new LinkedIn connections or calls to (919) 908-6145.