SST step 8: How do you fix your objectives and plan your actions?


Did you validate your strategies? Before moving to action, you first need to fix the framework how you are going to monitor their effectiveness. Remember, you defined your strategies to bring a change. You have to define their dynamic and measure their evolution.

Let’s just one moment take a closer look to the confusion, which often exists between an objective and the strategy. It happens all to often one thinks the objectives are the strategy. But in fact, the strategy defines the direction, and the objectives measure the dynamics of the evolution and doing so allow you to monitor the progress of your strategy.

For these new steps, you will need to download the latest SST Version (v9).  Under chapter 7 you fill find the table “objectives”. Copy the strategies you defined under chapter 4 & 5 in the first column. For each strategy, define what you are going to measure. Where are you going to put the thermometer? How and which frequency are you going to read this thermometer?

Let’s take an example. If your strategy consists in developing your distribution network, what could you measure? The evolution of your number of distributors, the turnover of your network, the geographical spread, etc. If you choose to monitor the evolution of the number of distributors, you could measure the number of visits (per month/per quarter, per year) of potential distributors, the number of contracts signed (per month/per quarter, per year), etc. Once you decided what and with which frequency what you want to measure you have to fix a number in the third column and you are now ready to go for action.

Let’s go to chapter 9 and start with your first strategy, which you introduce above the first table. Now let your mind bring up all actions it can think of in order to realize this strategy and write them down in the table. Once your list established, fix the deadlines within which you would want to execute the activity and assess its importance for the strategy (eg a quote between 1 and 3 where as 1 is a must and 3 a nice to have). Once you are done with your first strategy, you take the next until you have finished all of them.
Let me add some common sense practical advice. It’s very important to manage the difference between urgency and emergency. Something urgent is not necessary important and vice versa… Another thing is that it is not necessary to execute all actions you have listed. Remember that you have fixed your objectives which will indicate you if you need to increase your activities or on the contrary you can slow down, unless of course you want to change your objectives.

Congratulations, you have made it! We reached the end of our strategy journey. I hope it has brought you clarity and structure in your ideas and actions. Let me wish you success, satisfaction and joy in implementing your strategies.

PS I share this method, as I want to help SMB’s and small organizations to enhance their strategic approach. Any constructive remarks are welcome and will be taken in consideration to improve the method for the benefit of all users. Thank you!

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About Bart Norré

Marketing and strategy are my passion since more than 25 years I perceive marketing as a profound human dynamic: emotions are the core subject of marketing. That’s why I am strongly interested in Neuromarketing and NLP. I love start-ups and believe in pioneership. As an executive manager I was involved in two famous start-ups in Fribourg, Switzerland. The IMTF group that evolved from 7 to 250 headcounts during my leadership of the company’s marketing strategy and Dartfish SA that has today sold more than 150’000 licenses of the software conceived and marketed by the department I led. 2003 I understood that my proficiency would bring more to society if it would become available to more than one company at once. The 3rd of March 2003 (03.03.03), TM Tandem Marketing was born with the mission to deliver integrated services and coaching to SMB’s. I love to share my passion and beside my two blogs (French and English) I teach at the School of Management in Fribourg and the University of Applied Sciences and Art of Western Switzerland.
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