SMART2 Goals for Business

The typical “SMART” goal is defined as specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and timely. Another way of looking at these goals could be called SMART2. This means that SMART goals for businesses also need to be:

– Strategic: Long-term, big picture, inspiring

– Market-driven: What does the customer want, what direction are customers moving in

– Accountable: Who is in charge of making it happen and when!

– Results: Intent doesn’t matter; actual outcomes and deliverables do!

– Targeted: “Bigger” and “more” are not enough; specify what will be accomplished and where the bulls-eye is!

Here’s an example of a SMART2 goal:

“We will achieve an annual growth rate of 5% in sales and profits in each of the next fie years. We will reach total annual sales of $100 million and $10 million in profits by December 31, 20XX. Growth will be generated through expansion of our consumer electronic product line and an expansion of sales into new markets including: Asia and Australia. Each operational division and product group will be responsible for developing and executing specific tactical initiatives to target specific customer demographics and expanding geographic markets.”

Let’s break this down:

– Strategic: “next five years”

– Market-driven: “expansion of consumer electronic product line….into new markets”

– Accountable: “each operational division and product group”

– Results: “5% annual growth rate in sales and profits”

– Targeted: “$100 million in Sales and $10 million in profits”

The SMART2 goal is sufficiently detailed for the organization as whole to understand what you are working toward by aligning your goals, actions, resources, etc. Furthermore, it is not so detailed that you are telling everyone exactly what to do. You are dictating the results, not the means and methods. You are setting your organization up to execute but not telling your teams, “You have to do it this way.”

For businesses (or other organizations or groups), a clear goal is a unifying point. When the goal is stated, understood, and agreed upon, everyone knows what they are working toward. Breaking the overall organizational goal down into sub-goals that are appropriate to divisions, departments, project teams, and ultimately individual performance objectives, enables each person to know the result they need to achieve. Goal setting done well and translated into performance objectives and metrics:

– Aligns the organization;

– Sets priorities;

– Allocates resources;

– Defines roles and responsibilities;

– Holds every level and person accountable for specific results;

– Provides benchmarks;

– Establishes timelines, milestones, and deadlines.

Many organizations create vision or mission statements. Unfortunately many, if not most, of these statements are lofty and non-specific. Members of the organization have no clear idea what they mean or how they “fit” into achieving it. Mission statements serve a purpose for communicating why an organization exists, but it doesn’t (usually) tell any one what the organization does, intends to do, or what the priorities are.

Great vision is not enough. You have to give your organization and the individuals in it specifics! They need to know the who, what, when, where, how much, and so on of what they are working toward.

Excerpt from the e-book 10-Minute Success: Goals by Lea A. Strickland available from Amazon.

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