How to make your strategic planning goals SMART

Like the swallows coming back to Capistrano in the spring, the return of 100 degree days in Texas in the summer and yet another terrible Transformers movie (for Pete’s sake, Hollywood, please just stop it) sometime during the year, it will soon be time for your annual bank or credit union strategic planning session.

Every year, key drivers of your financial institution gather around the table for a few days in an effort to plot a course for success and growth in the near future. They will discuss, debate and, eventually, set plans into motion. However, are these SMART goals?

As most executives know, SMART is an acronym that refers to specific, measurable, actionable, reasonable and timely. But how do these play out in real life for your strategic planning goals? Let’s take a fresh look at them.

Specific: Your strategic planning goals cannot be vague and nebulous. “We want to grow” is nowhere near as good as “we want to be X amount larger in these specific categories by a target date.” Without sufficient specificity, your strategic planning goals are about as useful as throwing cotton balls at Godzilla.


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