5 steps to creating Supporting Objectives for Thematic Goals
The Thematic Goal as we discussed here, is your rallying cry to give your organisation the laser focus it needs to have on a specific topic. In a sense you create your own 'controlled' crisis without a crisis.
Now that you have clarity about what is the most important thing your organisation needs to focus on, it's time to figure out the next stages where you will create the actions that drive the improvements.
We use Supporting Objectives to create the action area's that will be focused on to achieve the thematic goal, these are your quantitative measures. Here are some points about them:
- There should be no more than 2 or 3 supporting objectives, any more and you will be spread too thin to achieve very much.
- As a leadership team you need to wrestle with the decision on what those key supporting objectives really are that will deliver the result you need. This should be a passionate and sometimes heated debate which ultimately will end without 100% agreement, that's OK, in fact in many ways it's a good thing!
- The job of the CEO or whoever is leading this is to make the final decision based on all the discussions.
- Once this has been made the entire team need to get behind these objectives and support & promote them throughout the organisation without question.
- The Supporting objective must have Lead Measures identified & clear targets attached
Here is an example of what the outcomes may look like if your Thematic Goal was improving deliveries in your manufacturing organisation. You may use, as an example, supporting objectives of On Time Delivery and Material Availability.
The Supporting Objectives need to have a clear target in mind so that everyone knows you are keeping score. To make these useful however use more proactive Lead Measures, we spoke about them in a previous post here, but for an example it maybe you measure On Time Start & Machine uptime as Leads for Delivery, for Material availability perhaps you measure On Time Ordering & supplier delivery dates, it would look like this:
These are the two area's that you will focus your teams to improve in for the duration of the thematic goal, everything else must wait as you have already decided that this is THE most important thing.
Lead Measure Definition
How you write the Lead Measure is important, I've chosen the format from the Covey 4DX process, I have never found a clearer way of defining an objective yet, but you may have something similar you can use. It sets the boundaries of what you are aiming to achieve, it reflects the journey, you're going from X (your start point) to Y (your goal) by this date. There can be zero doubt or ambiguity about the target it's how you know you have won after all.
So now you have a Thematic Goal, Supporting Objectives and your Lead Measures, now it's time to implement the whole thing which we will discuss in the 3rd part of this series later this week.
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