Everyone remembers the SMART acronym to talk about strategic objectives in corporate planning; no surprise it came about in the early 80’s as financial capitalism was entering its growth phase! Objectives had to be Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Results-oriented and Time-bound… How about adapting this to the new era we are entering? We are hereby proposing SENSIBLE objectives: Sustainable, Ethical, Network-supported, Small, Imaginative, Beautiful, Long-term and Excellence-driven! Below are details on each:
• Sustainable: respectful of the tripod now well-known in the definition of sustainable development, i.e. bearable, equitable and viable, bringing together the economic, the social and the environmental dimensions together.
• Ethical: conscientious, honorable and moral; this has to do with the whole governance trend that has emerged in the past ten years to qwell the excesses of financial greed.
• Network-supported: whether work swarms or collective intelligence, we need networking, that is obvious from the information age we are in, but also from the generation gap that has emerged since the baby-boomers.
• Small: humble, small-scale, unpretentious (to alleviate the “too big to fail”); if this may be controversial in the current globalization paradigm, wait and see the comeback of Schumacher’s theory: small is beautiful (1973).
• Imaginative: creative, enterprising and visionary, no comment needed! Yet, we have all seen the renewal of the enterprising spirit, especially warranted by the recent crisis years that may continue to burry old stuff and ways.
• Beautiful: appealing, lovely and radiant (this is about well-being in the organization); when you see the efforts put forward by companies to respond to the stress generated, it is not yet hedonism but it certainly tends towards it.
• Long-term: isn’t it time to invert this short-termism driven by “cash only”? The financial capitalism has brought forward excesses in margins, as well as rich-poor differences but do we believe this game can last?
• Excellence-driven: goodness, greatness and high quality. This goes beyond the plain product quality standards and touches fields like the social environment (see Social III).
Some may say that this is a bit of a dream list but would they deny that we have created a strange world where SMART may not be “so smart” in the end? Globalization is economic; if we have three times as many countries as 50 years ago, it is showing cultural discord galore; as for the environment, haven’t we destroyed it slowly? Let’s be SENSIBLE, shouldn’t we?