Why a S.M.A.R.T. Strategy Really Is Smart
Key #4: Relevant
Having a distinct differentiation that is Relevant in the market is essential for a winning strategy. Equally important is knowing what the marketplace wants. How many great programs or services can you think of that came and went quickly simply because no one was interested in them? This happens in both the corporate as well as the education market every day. A corporate college Director’s goal might be to build an online community for managers and employees to share about their experiences at recent training sessions. This is a specific, measurable, and achievable goal but is doomed to fail if the idea holds no interest to the intended participants.
Within any organization there are generally three levels: Executive leadership, Managers, and Staff. When new ideas are being implemented it is essential that there is buy-in from the top down. This ensures that if the best ideas encounter in-house resistance there is an executive champion that can push aside obstructions and harness the full support of the entire team.
When a goal is truly Relevant it is of interest to both the targeted marketplace customers, as well as the whole team. Questions you can pose to determine if the goal is Relevant are:
- Will our customers find true value in our new offering?
- Will our customers place a premium on our offering and commit the time necessary to participate?
- Is our new offering in alignment with our other offerings and will it add value to them?
- Are there a sufficient number of potential users of this program on a year-to-year basis?
Example: Develop and implement an executive leadership and performance plan that increases the number of senior level program attendees by 20 percent in one year.
Key #5: Be Time-Bound
Being Time-Bound simply means that the specific goal you have developed is placed within a time-frame that has a specific due date. Deadlines are sometimes thought of in a negative context, particularly if there has been a preponderance of missteps and missed goal expectations. That’s why it’s important to present target dates to staff as a means to a positive end—completing the goal—and to create a sense of importance for meeting the goal. Research has proven that a positive reinforcement from management always out produces an implied or stated negative consequence. Culture matters.
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.