Strategy through Objectives and Measurable Results

Long Range and strategic planning have become nearly obsolete.  The old method of having a team of people “strategizing” and developing long-term plans is outmoded.  By the time they’ve written those plans and developed implementation procedures things have changed. Or worse, they never consulted the people on the ground, and the plan doesn’t fit.  The long-term strategy isn’t bad, a rudderless ship doesn’t get anywhere, but in today’s market companies need to be far more nimble and tactical. We recommend annual long-term market analysis and goal setting, laying out the 3-5 year plans typically performed by 4-6 senior executives over the course of 2-3 days.  From those themes and following those directions you break down the long-term goals into objectives, what does each executive, business unit or team need to achieve this year to lead to that future outcome. Objectives need to be clear, concise and measurable. Those objectives then get cascaded down throughout the organization, breaking down to their components, each one clearly aligning with the long-term objective and each with a clearly defined series of measures and timeline.  We like operating in 10 Week cycles – see here. This is not the typical performance goal setting process; we’re not talking about SMART goals, we’re talking about business objectives. Imagine you’re the shopkeeper of a small retail store, your Goals might be to provide great customer service, support your colleagues and manager and be a good employee. But your business objectives are different; they’re to sell items profitably, to build long-term repeat customers, to successfully hire and train a new employee and to keep those employees for at least a year.  Those things are quantifiable and necessary for the success of the business.


For way more information on Objectives, read John Doerr’s “Measure What Matters,” it’s a concise yet detailed account of the foundings of OKRs from Drucker to Andy Grove, himself, Google and beyond.

Also published on Medium.