It’s November. 2024 just around the corner. That’s goal setting time for many businesses.

So here’s the question: Has your annual goal setting exercise begun to look like those New Year’s resolutions?

You know the ones where you resolve to exercise three times a week or stop eating meat?

Resolved one day and forgotten in a month or two. A typical goal setting scenario is the vision/planning stage; the enthusiasm stage and the slowdown stage as the demands of daily business take over. Goals and initiatives get partially implemented or forgotten.

That’s when goal setting becomes an exercise in futility.

Why does this happen so often?

  1. Goals aren’t SMART: Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, Time-based. Making sure your goals meet these five criteria is a key component of successful goal setting.
  2. The team, especially leadership, isn’t fully committed. How your team chooses to set its goals can have a big impact on success. Goals set by the team and agreed to by the team will get more energy behind them than goals that are imposed by management or policy.
  3. The day to day supersedes the desired goal. This is the biggest reason most goals are never realized. The intention and the desire are there, but too many other priorities or distractions prevent them from happening.

But that’s not all. Another big reason that goals are never achieved is because there is a gap between goal setting strategy and tactical execution. Yes, the targets are set. Everyone agrees and wants to get going. And then everyone starts going. Great, right? We are taking action!

The good news is the action. The not so good news is that all too often the action is divorced from the strategy. It’s trial and error decision making that ends up treating your precious resources  (people, capital, time) like the lottery. Sometimes you hit the jackpot. Most of the time you don’t.

There is a better way. It’s called Strategic Execution. Strategic Execution bridges the gap between strategy and tactics by developing a well-defined, blueprint and roadmap between the planning and the doing. This roadmap eliminates expensive, time consuming trial and error guesswork so your vision and goals are executed for profitable outcomes and best ROI.

With Strategic Execution you map out the execution plan as carefully as you do your goal setting or business/strategic plans. Here’s a quick overview of the process.

Consider. You consider/list all the actions you could take: new initiatives, programs, campaigns. This sounds simple. It isn’t! What we commonly see is under the pressure to make it happen, our clients typically default to what they have done before or chase the latest bright shiny object that has appeared on the marketing scene.  Instead we use a decision framework as in figure 1 here to evaluate all the options before moving forward.

Figure 1: Decision Framework

Prioritize. Your team prioritizes each action based on how far it will take you toward your goals and what you’ll have to spend to get there (time, money, people, tools) to determine expected ROI as in figure 2 below.

Figure 2: ROI Comparison

Decide. Here we have three options for lead generation. We determine the value/ROI based on historical performance, industry averages and current market projections. Based on this data, we decide to go with an email marketing program. We have made an informed decision, and can lay out the action steps, and start executing.

Want your 2024 goal setting to go from futile to finished and achieved? Consider Strategic Execution.

To learn more about strategic execution, visit