The Missing Link do you create a link between your organization’s mission and the projects that will actually get you there?

The critical link that is often missing between a meaningful mission and meaningful projects is a breakthrough objective.

A breakthrough objective answers the question “What are the most important things you need to do as an organization in order to survive, thrive, or improvise?”  Breakthrough objectives tell your organization and others what you need to look like?  They are the tools you use to communicate the qualities that define what is important and the path you have chosen.  Your strategic plan can be focused on a single breakthrough objective or a critical few, but it will seldom be more than four or five no matter how large the organization.

Breakthrough objectives will be the part of your strategic plan that provides you with qualitative targets for your organization — the targets that tell others what you value and how good you want to be.  (Quantitative targets, on the other hand, are things you can count, and they will show up in your projects.)

How do these three connect?  First, you will never be able to clearly articulate your breakthrough objectives until you have a clear understanding of your mission — your destination as an organization.  Second, you will not be able to identify the right projects until you have clearly identified your defining objective— your value targets.  Mission first, breakthrough objectives second, projects last.  So, clarify your mission, state your objectives in qualitative, not quantitative terms, and find the projects that fit those objectives and drop all those that don’t.  If a project does not fit an objective forget it or table it until it does.

A clear mission ensures you are working on the right objectives.  Clear objectives ensure you are working on the right projects.  Working on the right projects ensures you get the right things done.  It is that simple.