This blog post is the third in a series of six that dives deep into the proven methodology developed and used by TACK10 throughout the client process. Each week, TACK10 Group President and CEO James Chalmers takes you through one of the five pillars of our methodology, detailing how it was developed and how it can be deployed. This series will inform you of how best to reach your objectives and hopefully inspire you to think critically about “what keeps you up at night?” Just tuning in now? Read Part 1 of 6 here.
The second pillar of our methodology is “Define”. While most organizations would say that they clearly define goals and objectives, the truth is too often this is not the case. Part of the problem is that many organizations see them as being interchangeable words.
They do not mean the same thing and it is extremely important to understand how they differ in order to effectively define them. Objectives quite simply are “what” you want to achieve and goals are “why” you want to achieve those objectives. The good news is that if you think about goals and objectives in such simple terms, defining them becomes much easier. We can thank the US Navy for introducing the KISS principle back in the 60’s. As the saying goes, keeping it simple tends to increase performance. Why? It makes us focus on the elements that are of value and disregard the distractions.
1 Goal – The Why
While organizations are quick to state that projects have multiple goals, I challenge this notion. A goal is the primary desired outcome. Therefore every project can only have 1 ultimate goal. For the majority of projects we work on, the ultimate goal is increased revenue. I recently found myself debating this at a conference. The project in question was said to have 3 primary goals. 1) Increased Traffic, 2) Increased Customer Service Scores and 3) Increased Re-orders. These are not goals! These are objectives (see below for objectives defined). Why did this company want these 3 things? Simple! They want to increase revenue.
3 Objectives – The What
As I shared in the introduction, objectives are the tangible “what”. This is where we introduce key performance indicators (KPIs). KPIs are measuring our performance against objectives. If we pick on the example from above, it is clear that we can measure our performance against Increased Traffic, Increased Customer Service Scores and Increased Re-orders. When you are successful in meeting all 3 objectives, and if you have selected the right objectives, inevitably it means you are achieving your primary goal.
5 Tactics – The How
Next week we will go in depth on the how or the tactics as part of the Strategize pillar but I feel it is important to understand the hierarchy structure of how these relate and explain the “Rule of 1 – 3 – 5”.
By The Numbers
So you now know that you can only have 1 goal, but how many objectives or tactics can you have? We love keeping things clear and concise. Could you identify more than 3 objectives or more than 5 tactics? Of course you could, but that would be too easy. Think of a rule that I didn’t develop. The 80-20 rule. If you know that 80% of your performance is coming from 20% of your efforts, why not concentrate your efforts? Trimming the fluff means you can focus on what works and what is going to drive the greatest Return on Investment. We are not implying that you must have 3 objectives and 5 tactics. When possible, we even like to bring these numbers down. A focused program wins every time.
Is That Possible?
Now you think I am going too far. Trimming the process down to 1 Goal, 3 Objectives and 5 Tactics seems hard enough. The very best programs focus on the achieving the goal with a single objective and a single tactic to achieve that objective.
Imagine you want to increase revenue as a goal per the above. Now you consider the 3 objectives. Is 1 of them a stronger indicator of future success? If you know that Increased Customer Service Scores lead to both Increased Traffic and Increased Re-orders, then focus your efforts on that objective. Amalgamate your resources to deliver against a singular objective that stands as the best indicator of overall performance toward goals. So now you have 1 objective to deliver against a singular goal. Is it possible to have a single tactic to get there? It is if there is clearly 1 tactic that delivers overwhelming results.
At TACK10 we have 1 Tactic, 1 Objective and 1 Goal
It is all well and good to share this in theory, but you want to see it put into action. At TACK10, we have cut the fluff and streamlined to 1 tactic, 1 objective and 1 goal. Our 1 tactic is building a team of top performers who are passionate about living a life with purpose. When we give them the ability to only work on projects they are going to be excited to work on it means we get results that are second to none. Hitting this level of performance is our only objective. Achieving this objective means we achieve our singular goal which is to profit and invest back into our people and our purpose.