Why a S.M.A.R.T. Strategy Really Is Smart
Key #1: Specific
The first key starts with a Specific goal versus a general one. Human nature tends to hold onto what is in place and resist something new. The problem with this method is you can easily end up with a long list of semi-related programs and services that do not produce strong growth and profit. To safeguard against this natural tendency, force yourself and your team to write goals that are clear and unambiguous. Eliminate goals that are vague or simply repeat what has been in place for years. To make goals focused, they need to communicate easily to the entire team exactly what’s expected, why it’s important, and all of the related concerted actions that are necessary.
Here is a quick set of questions you can ask about your Specific goals. If you can’t easily state the answer to each of them then it’s probably time to rethink your strategy goals:
Who: Who is involved?
What: What do I want to accomplish?
Where: Identify a location.
When: Establish a time frame.
Why: Specific reasons, purpose or benefits of accomplishing the goal.
Example: Increase overall corporate training revenues 20 percent in Year 1.
Key #2: Measurable
The second key demands that goals be measured using precise quantifiable criteria so you can determine if the goal is a success. After all, the point of a S.M.A.R.T. plan is to determine the optimum strategies to grow your organization. As the saying goes, "What is not measured cannot be improved." The main point of measuring the progress of the team is to keep them on track and to drive the plan’s success metrics. There is an excitement that builds once a team gets past the feeling of being 'watched' that motivates them to work steadily toward their goal. Why does this happen? Mainly because people really do want to succeed and a specific measurable plan allows them to know exactly where they are every day in achieving their personal goals.
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.