Written by Pete Wilkinson

Last updated 25 November 2022 ·

How to establish actionable objectives that will help you achieve your vision

Following on from our previous blog in this series entitled Enhance productivity in your business: 3 steps to creating a powerful vision statement, this article covers the next step in the OKR process, which is creating objectives.

The objectives are what you need to focus on to achieve your vision.

This process involves breaking down your vision into three mission-critical areas of focus that will all contribute to achieving that vision. Capping the number of objectives to just three lets you focus daily on what’s essential to move forward and avoids spreading your focus too thinly, reducing your productivity, efficiency and effectiveness.

Many people start a task and then drift off chasing bright shiny distractions. Having clear, mission-critical objectives that all relate to your carefully crafted vision dramatically helps you remain focused on the task at hand as you realise how that work contributes to your overall plan for success.

It’s all about achieving laser-like focus!

Creating objective one

Ask yourself, what is the first thing that MUST be in place for your vision to be realised?

If you decided to have a sales target as part of your vision, could your first objective be related to sales and marketing performance?

Alternatively, your first objective may be related to a product or service that would drive sales to achieve your target.

It’s important at this stage to really dissect your vision so you understand exactly what changes are required and which metrics to measure to make the necessary impact that will lead to your desired success.

Creating objective two

Often, people decide their second objective should focus on developing the necessary systems and processes to facilitate positive change.

What repeatable processes could be implemented to enhance the number of customers you require to achieve your growth target?

Developing transparent, effective systems and documented processes in the early stages of a business is one of the main reasons McDonald’s restaurants have achieved so much success.

Creating objective three

Here, you need to establish your third objective. Success has been referred to as something you become, not achieve. One of the fundamental things about achieving great success is the journey to get there.

Many of the most successful people in business often comment that it’s about falling in love with the process rather than obsessing about the results.

Your third objective may refer to your personal or team development.

What sort of person or team do you have to become to achieve the vision you have created? What are the characteristics of high-performing teams? What do you need to do to reach those characteristics and pave the way for success?

Consider all these questions carefully alongside your vision as you break it down into what is required to make that vision a reality.

Once you have clarified and written out your three mission-critical objectives, check back on your vision and ask yourself, could I have achieved this vision if I hadn’t achieved these three objectives? If the answer is no, then the objectives are genuinely mission-critical; however, if there is any doubt as to the effectiveness of your objectives, revisit them to ensure they are correct before you proceed to the next stage in the OKR process.

By now, you should have:

  • Established the three mission-critical objectives that are central to the successful completion of your vision.
  • Sense checked your objectives against your vision to ensure they all correspond with each other and will result in a positive outcome.

Final thought

Remember, if you are implementing OKRs in your business, these objectives will become visible to others in various teams and should, therefore, be inspiring, motivational and easy to understand to ensure they are effective.

If you want further guidance on writing OKRs for the different levels within your business, download our OKR Builder™ today! It includes step-by-step advice on how to write compelling OKRs that cascade seamlessly throughout all levels of a business.

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