Thursday, November 18, 2004

Objectives are basic building blocks of strategy

Business Times p.B1
Thursday, November 18, 2004

By Moje Ramos-Aquino, FPM
Objectives are basic building blocks of strategy

IT is often said that we cannot know what the future has in store for us, but we could create a future we want by what we do today. This is exactly why you have gone through your strategic thinking process and are building your Balanced Scorecard.

Remember our story last week about filling up a jar with rocks, gravel, sand and water? Now that you have placed your rocks (vision, mission, values and overarching goals, or VMVG) in your jar, you are now ready to fill it with gravel. These are your objectives.

You now translate your VMVG into objectives that are specific, measurable, actionable, realistic, time- and resource-bound and stretched into the future. Objectives are statements of what you will have to do in order to breathe life into your overall business strategies.

Howard Rohm, vice president of the Balanced Scorecard Institute, gave the example of Southwest Airlines: It developed a business strategy to compete successfully in the crowded commercial airline market. Its business strategy includes innovation and speed in the redefinition of a marketplace; short-haul, high frequency, point-to-point routing (a significant departure from traditional hub-and-spoke routing); a high proportion of leased aircraft; a very simple fare structure; and ticketless travel.

For the public sector, Rohm gave the example of Mecklenburg County in North Carolina, where they developed a strategy to implement the Board of County Commissioners vision for 2015. The strategy has the following main themes according to Rohm: Growth management and environment; community health and safety; effective and efficient government; and social, education and economic opportunity. Their objectives include, among others: increasing employee knowledge, skills and abilities; improving technology capacity, increasing the use of partnerships, reducing reliance on property taxes, improving service value, improving the environment, reducing crime and violence; and reducing preventable/communicable diseases and other health problems.

Please refer to Figure No. 1 to situate your objectives.

(Moje Ramos Aquino, president of Paradigms & Paradoxes Corp., facilitates strategic thinking and balanced scorecard initiatives. Her e-mail address is

No comments: