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Strategic Planning: Metrics Make a Measurable Difference

Strategy planners want to see lasting, positive results. Whether you’re internal to your organization or an external consultant, you likely understand the importance of SMART goals. Chartering actions that are measurable sounds simple enough, but the masterful aspect of a measurable goal is to make sure the metric is aptly suited to reflect non-ubiquitous success.

This detail is important because when you attain goals, you create small wins that deserve celebration. People within your organization must be able to recognize the validity of these achievements. If the measurement of the goal is too weak or non sequitur to a larger communicated vision, you may be giving ammunition to the resistors in your organization.

Almost all types of change create some form of resistance, from at least a small throng of people within the organization. This group of people will harbor skepticism and use it to drive critiques of what’s billed as progress.

This reaction is human nature to some degree, but a line is crossed when information is manipulated to suggest that the only way things can be “right” is if they fit nicely within the conceptual reality of the scrutinizer.

Leaders need to understand this kind of bias as they move change programs and plans forward. You can see it manifest with a goal’s attainment being discredited or unrelated to the true momentum needed. Constructive critiques can make change efforts stronger.

If critiques only support pre-existing opinions or reinforce ineffective processes, then you’re dealing with a confirmation bias, which only fulfills the status quo. Navigate around this quicksand of consensus because although it looks harmless enough from the surface, it can pull your change efforts downward, slowly but surely.

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