In my last four posts we discussed the four areas of strategic planning that I evaluate during a Clone Your Favorite™ Client (CYFC) Assessment: mission, vision, core values, and SMART goals. I’ll be honest, rarely do I find all four of those items present in my target market companies let alone communicated throughout their organizations. But I usually find at least one or two which is enough to help define the company culture (even though you really do need all 4). So when I start the next section of my CYFC assessment (Marketing & Branding), the first thing I evaluate is how well a company’s branding strategy reflects their strategic plan and company culture.
My last three posts have discussed key topics in the strategic planning portion of a Clone Your Favorite™ Client assessment. In this post we’ll cover the final topic of strategic planning which is how your company will realize your vision while being true to your mission and core values – SMART goals. As a quick review – a SMART goal is one that is Specific, Measurable, Attainable (some authors use Achievable), Relevant (some authors use Realistic) and Time-oriented. For example, a SMART goal related to revenue would be:
Increase net profit coming from new targeted customers (favorite clients) by 20% in the calendar year 2012.
Often when goals get set by executive management they either are too broad (i.e. not SMART) such as: “increase revenue” and/or are not communicated to the rest of the organization. Sure, we’d all like to increase revenue, but is increasing non-profitable revenue really going to take you closer to your vision? And will you have achieved your “increase revenue” goal if the actual increase is only .01%? And, how likely is it that you will achieve a goal if everyone doesn’t know about it?
Goals have been set and at least some relate to increasing business from favorite clients
- Goals have been communicated throughout the organization
- Goals are SMART so that the team knows their progress toward accomplishing them
Every employee has access to a measurement of where they are on a day to day basis in achieving goals
Obviously if you want more favorite clients then your SMART goals should be geared in that direction and they have to be communicated to everyone. If you are going to communicate how well you’re doing in meeting your goals, you have to have a way to measure and visualize your progress (that is why they need to be measurable and time-oriented). For example, I want to see if the sales team knows at any given time how well they are contributing to that 20% net profit from targeted clients increase. You’ll want to use Key Performance Indicators or KPIs to measure and illustrate progress on achieving SMART goals and make them available to everyone so that both management and the rest of the organization have a communication tool to drive progress as well as spot and navigate through road blocks. Look for a KPI post in the next few weeks when we discuss the Sales Process focus of Clone Your Favorite™ Assessments or in the meantime check out this post on creating metrics to illustrate KPIs
Without SMART goals I find that organizations tend to have a hard time focusing on activities that will target favorite clients. Even in an organization with a great culture where everyone loves their job and their company, it is very important to make sure that tasks are aligned toward the discipline specific goals that are important to achieving over all favorite client focused company goals. Otherwise, employees tend to get myopic and just concentrate on their specific day to day operational challenges as opposed to working together with other departments from a more holistic approach.
I would love to hear comments on your experience with SMART goals versus general ones an in the mean time, happy hunting!