What Are Your Strategic and Operational Priorities?

A few weeks ago I introduced a tool called the Business Compass. This tool provides the means of visually communicating your organization’s vision, mission, values, brand promise, leadership behaviors and strategic and operational priorities. I have previously written about vision, mission and values but what are “strategic and operational priorities”?

Strategic and operational priorities are the most important things your organization needs to achieve over the year. It is best to keep this list to five things or less so that they are achievable and so that you do not overwhelm the organization (I have seen some organizations with over 30 priorities . . . the staff were totally overwhelmed by this and never made any progress on any of the priorities). Note that these priorities are not detailed goals but high level objectives that you have determined to be strategically and operationally critical to your success as you strive to achieve your mission.

Each one of these objectives will have a set of detailed goals associated with it. The goals should be specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and time specific (SMART goals). However, this level of detail should not show up in the Business Compass. The Business Compass should show the high level summary of the objective and from this you will be able to understand how the objective ties into your vision, mission and values.