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[vision] You need a SMART target!! Specific, Measurable, Action-oriented, Relevant, Time

Updated: Feb 20, 2021

Hi this is Takeshi, CEO of

I am writing a visioning guidebook as a part of reflection from the recent workshop on Sustainable Consumption and Production of Mango, Coffee, and Dairy in Ethiopia and Uganda. I show you a section of SMART target ;-). This is a different kind of "smart" I wrote yesterday!!


Target is s short and smaller vision. It is better to have a concrete target not only for you to clear your mind, but also to have a common goal everyone in your team is running in the same direction. SMART is a concept to make logical and communicable target. It's crucial that all subcomponents of "SMART" is connected. You do not have to do everything by yourself to achieve the target. The logic and clarity will help your team to work in the same direction. A SMART target has to have five attributes which are indicated by the five alphabet letters. We use the moonshot and SCP (Sustainable Consumption and Production) as cases to explain the five attributes: Specific, Measurable, Action-oriented, Relevant, Time-limited

Specific: Make the target as specific as possible. Instead of "to make the SCP business much more efficient", it should be "to make all fertilisers organic". In other words, everyone should have a clear picture of the target. It's about making sure that everyone understands what we're trying to achieve.

Measurable: In the example of President Kennedy, if you send people to the moon and bring them back safely, we can judge that the mission has succeeded, so that it is clear that we have achieved the target. On the other hand, when people say, "Let's become an SCP company," it is hard to know how to judge if our company becomes an SCP company so that we have achieved the target.

Action-oriented: A useful target make us imagine what we have to do. The statement "Let's become an SCP company" is too abstract to make us imagine the first action. But if we say, "We will be a company using only organic fertiliser," we have to have materials make organic fertiliser enough for our farm. Also, we know that we have to learn how to make the type of fertiliser. We can imagine the actions.

Relevant: We need to clear about what we are aiming for and why we need to do it. If this is for a company, these questions will be for everyone in the company. For example, when a CEO speaks about switching to full-organic fertiliser, our company might be in the competition with your rival to win the upper-class market, which has been expanding in the last years. Our company was falling behind the rival in all of its proxy competition in the new market exploration. When the CEO said, "We're going to be the first company to commit to full organic fertiliser," it was the desire of our employees not to be defeated by our rival, and the recklessly high goal of "full-organic" was necessary because the whole company was aware of the danger that we might be overtaken again.

Time-limited: President Kennedy said the moonshot "by the end of the 60s". That's why they achieved the target in 1969. If he had said "the 70s", it probably would have only happened in the in 1979.

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