Developing Your Strategic Objectives

October 3, 2019
11:45 am

In 2018, JP Morgan Chase set goals for employee development, branch expansion, and enabling their clients' growth which had direct alignment with the core purpose of the organization: “We align our business and philanthropic efforts to help more communities benefit from a growing economy. This company has made a significant economic impact in all of the communities we operate in, and we are excited to become an even more relevant part of many others." - Jamie Dimon, CEO

What are the elements of these goals that make them so powerful? This publication explains how objectives, aligned to the mission and vision of the organization, support decision making and provide a basis for measuring performance.

Before we dive into elements of creating successful objectives, we first must establish a common understanding of our world, including the internal organizational environment and the external competitive landscape. SWOT and PESTLE analyses are two frameworks that organizations use to establish a holistic perspective of its challenges and opportunities. Leaders should only develop strategic objectives after analyzing the external and internal environments in which the organization operates

What’s an objective?

An objective can be defined as a measurable result that an organization seeks to achieve within a specific timeframe. Objectives should be aligned to the mission and vision of the organization and serve as a way to create plans and evaluate performance.

What are the elements of an objective?

Strategic objectives should be timeless goals that an organization aspires in order to fulfill its vision and mission.  To evaluate success, objectives are informed by leading and lagging metrics that serve to evaluate performance.  Organizations then set specific and time-bound targets (e.g., monthly, quarterly, yearly. etc.). Finally, objectives should have designated individual owners, who are responsible and/or accountable for collecting data and monitoring progress.

What makes a strong objective?

B|G believes strong objectives Include the following elements:

  • Action: Provide actionable direction for team members.
  • Aligned to Purpose:  Aligns to your organization’s vision, mission, and values statements (if you would like to further refine your organization’s purpose, checkout 75 of the top mission, vision, and value statements).
  • Simply Stated: Simple and easily understood by members throughout your organization.
  • Attainable, yet Aspirational: Attainable with the organization’s current resources, but also aspirational in order to create a collective desire for positive change.
  • Measurable: Can be easily collected and are relevant to the purpose of the objective.

Each of JP Morgan Chase's goals shown above were actionable, aligned to a shared vision for the organization, simply stated, attainable yet aspirational, and measurable. The success the organization is seeing in the execution of the goals has been driven by Jamie Dimon and others leadership's effective communication along with the passion and hard from bank employees.

Demonstrated by JP Morgan, B|G follows a continuous improvement methodology and utilizes an adapted balanced scorecard framework (learn more about our approach to Strategy). Objectives should answer one of the following questions:

  1. Finance:  To succeed financially, how should we appear to our stakeholders?
  2. Customer:  To achieve our vision, how should we appear to our customers?
  3. Process:  To satisfy our stakeholders, how do we enhance our business processes?
  4. Learning:  To achieve our vision, how will we sustain our ability to change and improve?

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Examples of Objectives

Develop organizations that are meaningful to your organization. Here are a few examples of strong objectives:  

  • Emphasize product excellence
  • Improve technology infrastructure
  • Strengthen community fundraising
  • Enhance financial efficiency
  • Grow digital sales
  • Improve customer satisfaction
  • Advance community leadership
  • Emphasize profitable growth

These objectives, along with carefully chosen metrics and targets, simply and clearly communicate what an organization is hoping to achieve in the near future:

What's the most effective way to develop objectives?

Refer back to the publications regarding SWOT and PESTLE frameworks, which will allow you and your leadership team the ability to fully understand the current state of your organization. Once your leadership team has a common understanding of your world, work to identify what objectives, and metrics, are most valuable in enhancing organizational performance and achieving your vision.

Better understand your organization's ability to Think Big by taking the assessment below:

Take Strategy Self-assessment Here

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October 3, 2019
11:45 am
B|G Way
Strategic Planning and Facilitation
Research
Strategy
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