Vantage Point
Vantage Point is a quarterly newsletter designed to help organizations
improve performance through strategic planning and executive consulting.
Planning FAQs
What should Action Plans include?

Planning is easy compared to the challenges of implementation. Many organizations have great plans that sit on the shelf and gather dust. One of the reasons these plans are not implemented is they do not include well-crafted Action Plans. A good Action Plan (one that can be implemented) must include at least three things. First it must include a list of the specific actions to be taken. Second, they must link those actions to a timetable. When will each of the actions by accomplished. And third, who will be responsible for each of the tasks and for the Action Plan as a whole. Obviously, you can get carried away with Action Planning by getting bogged down in too much detail. Good Action Plans are a valuable tool for holding people accountable for the things they have committed to do. There should be enough detail to set the expectations for everyone involved. Clear Action Plans also allow the leadership to follow up and know when actions are behind schedule or not happening at all.
What is the difference between a Goal and an Objective?

Many organizations use the terms Goals and Objectives interchangeably. They make no distinction between what is a Goal and what is an Objective. We have found that it is useful to think of them as different. A Goal is enduring and timeless. It is something the organization continuously strives for. It is the ideal the organization would like to achieve. Goals are qualitative in nature. The progress an organization makes towards its Goals are assessed rather subjectively. Goals are usually developed to address selected Constituent Groups that are important to the overall success of the organization. Objectives are different in that they are specific and measurable. They are set and accomplished within a given timeframe. Objectives are always quantified. There should be no doubt whether an organization achieved its objective. As you might guess, Objectives are assessed not subjectively but objectively. Organizations need both. They need the long term perspective provided by Goals and the measurable results defined by Objectives and expected by management.
Future Topics
  • Strategic Planning Myths.
  • Three Fundamental Questions.
  • Poll Question
    The poll question last quarter asked people to identify the best thing government can do to address higher energy prices. The two most frequent responses where to reduce regulatory restrictions (36%) and fund more research (36%). Here are the actual results:
    0%Reduce taxes on gasoline and other forms of energy
    9%Subsidize renewable energy sources
    36%Reduce regulatory restrictions on the energy industry
    18%Open new federal lands for energy exploration
    36%Fund more research on energy efficiency
    Our poll question this quarter is: How likely is it that the Republican Party retains the majority of both the House and Senate after the November election:

  • Very Likely
  • Somewhat Likely
  • Toss Up (Don't Know)
  • Somewhat Unlikely
  • Very Unlikely
  • You should cast your vote based on what you think will happen, not what you want to happen. Please respond by election day (November 7th)
    Click here to participate in our poll. You may return to the Poll Page to monitor the results as often as you like. However, you should respond to the poll question only once.
    Dow Jones Industrial Average
    The Dow Jones Industrial Average was first published in 1896 and included 12 industrial stocks to represent the health of the US economy. The index now contains 30 stocks and has recently posted all-time record highs - closing and intraday. Guess how many of the original 12 companies are still around today. That's right - one. General Electric (GE) is the only company that has survived the ups and downs of 110 years of business. I wonder if it is a coincidence that GE is a recognized leader in Strategic Planning. Click the link below to see a list of the original 12 companies in the Dow.

    (DJIA Original 12 Stocks)
    Published quarterly by Vantage Associates, on the web at www.vantageassociates.com
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