Welcome to our website. Open forum to discuss global thought leadership, Tao of IT Leadership .

The magic “I” of CIO sparks many imaginations: Chief information officer, chief infrastructure officer , Chief Integration Officer, chief International officer, Chief Inspiration Officer, Chief Innovation Officer, Chief Influence Office etc. The future of CIO is entrepreneur driven, situation oriented, value-added , she or he will take many paradoxical roles: both as business strategist and technology visionary, talent master and effective communicator, savvy business enabler and relentless cost cutter

The future of CIO is best practicing the Tao of IT leadership: leading IT to enlighten the customers; enable business success via influence.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Can you have a team made of all the best players?

Alignment, Clarity, Collaboration, and Motivation will be key enablers in building a high-performing team. 

Digital is the age of the people, and people are still the weakest link in strategy execution, so how to build a high performing team, can you have a team made of all the best players? And which shall you focus on: Individual mojo or team spirit? Competition or collaboration?

Clarification: You recognize that "best" is different for every position, to be fully aware about different roles to be covered. You need to define each key role and profile need. You need to determine what's best for each position based on what it will contribute to your overall goals, then go get it. You can have a team of great players, but there needs to be extra attention given to role clarification and the human dynamics of personalities and human behavior, treat them same by treating them differently as well, to ensure the right person for the right seat in the right environment (company's context of culture, vision, values....). This is to identify the person fitting better (taking into account the medium-long term of the relationship). These people are the best because they are really involved in the mission, they really like their job and the mission they have to accomplish. They believe and have trust in leadership and in vision accomplishment. 

 Convincing: To clarify vision, goals, strategy and environment (field of play - both internal and external) ) to master in communication, sharing and leading. You can convince your team to buy into your vision, goals, and approach and be willing to sublimate their egos to achieve them. Partly, you do that by getting the team to help shape that direction based on their knowledge, skills, and abilities, so that they become a team of people with roles who support each other, and not a group of people with big egos who go off in their own directions. A company with leadership that is committed to hiring, evaluating, counseling, and firing (as much as we hate to do it) based on how team members embrace your core values along with focusing on the Right Person - Right Seat can, in fact, have a team of best players. It is possible to achieve the goal, only if the company has clearly identified and communicate what is in scope, what is the purpose of the role, what the context is, what the company vision culture and values are and convince the team to move toward that right direction.

CollaborationAssuming you have the best people in each seat, then what? The real challenge is getting everyone to collaborate effectively. A group of high performing individuals are most likely to underachieve if they don't collaborate well. They will find it difficult to handle ambiguous or unclear information, and information overload results in the lack of accountability and God knows where that leads to. Most of managers are considering the matter in a competitive environment, where each best player is playing its own game (the battle of egos). Sure, this is the environment we live in, that's the model we are running in each company. Internal Competitive schemes are dominating in our companies, because competition is going to improve any performances and any results. In these games, battles of egos are going to take over and in order to win a personal game, the game will be lost by anyone. In this case anyone contributes positively to the cause accomplishment is the best. However, let's imagine, for a moment, to change the game rules we usually apply. The new environment is a context where sharing and cooperating are the usual way of working, for accomplish a common purpose (result, goal, task, and higher, a vision). You are not going to recruit the best for that role, but you are going to recruit the best for that role who has the right (and true) sense of duty, the right collaborative way of working, the right culture and values, the right responsibility, the right sense of belonging, the right approach to the common cause, the right sense of long term and continuity (business, relationship, value creation, results, sustainability...) In terms of collaboration, you may like to ask yourself 3 questions: 
(1) - Does everyone knows and understands each other's goals and have agreed a common overall goals ? (Alignment) 
(2) - Is information and knowledge equally shared among all members? (Clarity) 
(3)- Is there an environment of Psychological Safety and culture of innovation (Trust) 

Motivation: You are willing to pay for the best, not just with money, but with motivators such as recognition of achievement and personal development that, ironically, will lead to even greater success for people once they leave your organization. Analyze each member's personality, aspirations, motivators, egos, limitshave a personal development plan for each member in order to manage people in long term period (retain or let go)  Both of these are for good reasons.

Team “Spirit”: It isn't easy to bring together the best and mold them into an effective team, and there's more to it than what you might thought about, but bringing the best together successfully can be done and has been done many times before.  Even so, the real focus needs to be on the best team rather than the best individuals. It is possible to build up a team of the best players. It will be a winning team if you consider the spirit of team first. Team chemistry matters and is a significant driver of success on the sports field and in the business world. Very often someone who is considered 'the best' in their particular field might actually be a detriment to the team and is a suboptimal choice. This doesn't add value to the company. Studies do confirm that 'all-star' teams often underperform because too much focus goes into the talents of a single individual when ROI is driven by many individuals that need to be working optimally in concert. 

This is a great question that every leader should be asking and then challenging themselves on; it is very difficult to have the best person at every position, but will argue that it is not impossible. Ultimately, you'd want to build a company culture where you have "We-centric" teams rather than a collection of "Me-centric" stars. Alignment, Clarity, Collaboration, and Motivation will be key enablers getting you there. 

Monday, August 18, 2014

Why Do So Many Businesses Still Provide Terrible Customer Service?

‘Talk the talk’ is the easy part, very few can walk the talk!

Digital is the age of customer, being customer-centric is the ultimate goal for any forward-looking business today. But why do so many businesses still provide terrible customer service?

Lack of CEM strategy: CEM-Customer Experience Management is in most of companies’ corporate vocabulary now, however, ‘talk the talk’ is the easy part, very few can walk the talk, how to define CEM strtegic proposition, as the balancing act of looking to increase profit while keeping a customer-centric strategy of the business is perhaps tricky sometimes due to the lower business maturity.

Lack of capacity planning: Growing and not planning properly for additional customer service capacity is the usual cause. Most firms take on new clients and just load them up on current customer service staff. Also not replace people quick enough when they leave. Customer service is a human resource-intensive function that is a high cost arena for a business, with the aspects that are critical being high-quality manpower, logistics, trained technically sound staff, turnaround time, technology).

Pressure on immediate bottom-line: An organization may see an immediate boost to profits by employing more sales staff and selling more products, but fails to see that employing more effective customer service personnel will bring increased sales, service revenues and profits in the medium-term. The costs of scaling up the customer service outweigh the incremental competitive edge it provides to the business in comparison to product/service offering lead differentiation. It is perhaps the one area, that lacks the necessary agility for keeping abreast with customer expectation, due to the sheer cost of re-tooling the sales/service force.

Customer inertia: Some of the percentages in customer surveys shown as inertia means that many customers remain with existing suppliers as they fear change or know viable alternatives. It appears that more people have reasons to change, are aware that they can change, know of viable alternatives or can use particular websites to evaluate or advise of alternative suppliers, but the inertia makes many customers reluctant to make the move until a catastrophic event or major catalyst. Some customers continue with the same old supplier for many years whereas others change their suppliers (mobile phones, other technology, etc.) frequently. Similarly, many "say" they will pay more for service, but continue to patronize the low-cost providers - hence the continuing success of the so-called budget retailers!

Attitude makes difference: The attitude of "a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush" is fairly common in fast-moving industries where on-going service and relationship-building is sacrificed to selling the next fad.
The seriousness of the industry studies show that it takes six times more effort and cost to get a new customer than get a piece of new business from an existing customer.

Being customer-centric is a journey, you have to well balance the long term customer perspective with the short term profitability; gaining customer empathy, continue to cultivate the culture of innovation, improve business capability and grow customer service capacity, in order to walk the talk and optimize overall organizational maturity.

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Innovating by Questioning

"You can't solve a problem on the same level that it was created. You have to rise above it to the next level." - Albert Einstein 

Innovation is new way to do things; innovation creates change to the next level of performance. However, innovation management cannot be a one person challenge and needs careful planning, recruitment and support to cover everything from fundamental research through experimentation, evaluation and exploitation. Failure to understand both the extent of these services and the likely timescales for real success can undermine the whole proposition around innovation. People who innovate are pro-change and not afraid to challenge the status quo and they have unlimited curiosity to ask questions. What are the most important questions a leader who is focused on innovation should ask him/herself?

The 5 Whys: The 5 Whys is an iterative question-asking technique used to explore the cause-and-effect relationships underlying a particular problem. Why? and then Why? again and then Why? Again for 5 times. The"Why" is always in the center of innovation leaders’ question list. Are the innovations you are trying to promote actually relevant to the business now, or in the future, or at all? Innovation is a buzz word that can easily be misused unless you have a clear goal on what you want to get out of it. Is it cost savings, efficiency, better go to market strategy, improved IT agility in supporting new business, etc....?

What: What do you consider "innovation" and what have you implemented that you would consider innovation, what's out there to improve it, what will the business benefits of doing it and if beneficial, start the process of getting it done (project). Innovation means better ways of doing something, so ALL leaders should be focused on this in relation to improvements that can be made to the business. So the question is what needs improvement. This is then seen as proactive action and improves the profile of the leaders and consequently performance. This allows for the fact that business users’ needs and requirements (the company) must come first in terms of resources and the leaders should make this position clear but companies should always be looking to improve and so it is very hard to raise objections when innovation is positioned in this way. Further question may include such as 'What do I want to be known for?' This is more of a reminder to think in an innovative way. Innovation is best conceived when you've removed yourself from the comfortable and the known to embrace unknown with risk intelligence.

How: How does it add value? And how does it impact your business process efficiency or bottom line? Concern connections between technology and the business that 'intend' to increase efficiency, one of the questions is "how can I directly tie this innovation to the bottom line?" -that is usually difficult, and often one of the many reasons innovation is stifled. Unless these basic components are in place, then there is the risk of a serious mismatch in expectation between the provider and receiver of innovation. Is the culture open to innovation, and if not, how can I introduce it? How much risk am I willing to take on to create innovation? How to allocate the right resources - time, money, people - to make innovation a habit in my company?

Who: It is critical innovation strategy for hiring the right people in the right places. Change/ Innovation is hard enough and not a one person challenge. It is extremely difficult to find and hire people that have innovative mind sets facilitate change in organizations. How do we pay for the innovation we know we need to deploy? Followed up by "where can we refocus?" There is no such thing as what cannot be done unless you make a habit of hiring people that cannot do. It is amazing how easily vendors and internal staff are intimidated and how easily people believe their staff to eliminate the threat. It takes an amazingly strong person to create innovation. Those that have failed call it a buzzword. Look at all the "we can't do that" or "it's how we do it here" in the organizations  and start innovating in those areas. Force yourselves into "the zone" where danger = solutions... Maybe you'll find innovation that can push your company to grow. 

How much/many: Innovation is useless unless there are real, measurable benefits in quantitative or qualitative way: Faster time to market, productivity gains, higher efficiency... Is there a usage scenario or how to measure innovation in my organization?

The future of leader leads by questioning; the effective innovation manager shall also innovate by asking, ask those 5W + H questions to navigating through; and ask the right questions are more than half way of your innovation success.

Friday, August 15, 2014

Top Three Traits of Effective Leader

 Highly-effective leaders get respect not because of their titles, but because of their vision and influence; insight and wisdom; ability and humility. 

Leaders and managers are different roles. A leader has a vision and the personal influence to convince others to achieve that vision. A manager controls the day-to-day activities and resource utilization of the company. They may be the same person, but play different role to fit circumstances.  More specifically, what are top three traits of effective leader?


The most important thing for the leader, is to create a clearly articulated vision of success, unambiguous measures of how the team will know when they get there, the ability to enroll others in that vision and provide effective coaching and support throughout the journey. This takes insight, intelligence and the ability to see opportunities that others cannot see in a way that is easily articulated and understood, express a clear vision consistently and in terms suitable for the audience (Board, management and all staff); - Establishing and communicating high level idea, game plan.

     2. Influence

This can be derived from wisdom, charisma, rewards, expert power (people respect your expertise), referent power (your title) or coercion (force or threats). 

A: Mentor: Leaders must be a mentor! Mentors give without thought of return and are dedicated to seeing their staff succeed. They are role model or coach – who supports his/her team Integrity.

 B: Trust: A leader is someone that you trust. Trust - Trust the team, channelize energies, give people free-hand to think and provide solutions, nurture / mentor people. To be followed by co-workers because they want to, not because they have to. 

C: Empathetic engagement - listening, challenging and concluding positively in terms that the individual / audience understood, at any level of the organization; knowing his/her team upon strengths, weaknesses, goals and objectives. Ability to see and treat people as people, not as objects. Many of people unknowingly work and live within their own boxes and often times fail to see co-workers, bosses and subordinates as people but objects, and in doing so fail to see and hear their viewpoints which clouds the judgment as leaders.

D. Transparency - When there is a hidden agenda the people that work for you become suspicious. Recognizes team members for the value they bring. Commitment to your people - a boss can be committed to meeting a goal, managing a budget, etc., but a leader is committed to the people they lead. 

E: Learning mind: They understand that learning can come from anywhere and are not afraid to let their staff members teach them something new! Ability to be a follower. True leaders always know when it is time to be a follower. In addition, they must not be afraid to let others shine. In other words, the best leaders inspire, encourage, and engage their teams in projects and tasks that push them and then provide the support necessary to allow their staff to be successful! Inspires others to be their very best and invests in their success  "A leader is best when people barely know he exists, when his work is done, his aim fulfilled, they will say: we did it ourselves." - Lao Tsu 

3. Execution 
It takes courage with the ability to take action and make swift decisions even unpopular ones.  

   A.  Insight: Being insightful at making decisions becomes game changers for the organization.

   B. Communication: Immensely persuasive in getting others to align to the mission and build the team - picking the right people, garnering their strengths, and protecting/elevating at appropriate times.

  C. Problem Solving - Resolve problems / issues before they become big, address them and move forward.

D.    Innovation: To champion the innovative use of technology in the workplace. Also cultivate the culture of innovation: In other words, clear direction is critical yet it is also extremely important to create the right culture and behaviors - without these even the most intelligent of bosses become unstuck.
            E. Humility: To live by the golden rule, with humility. This includes giving of their time and energy to help others freely with sincerity without expecting anything in return. 

The leaders are the person that knows their company's Why, and their own personal Why. And highly-effective leaders get respect not because of their titles, but because of their vision and influence; insight and wisdom; ability and humility.


Thursday, August 14, 2014

Process vs. Data: Which Comes First

Data is the life blood, and process is the body function of enterprise. 

Data is like the life blood of business, processes are like body functions, made up of steps that convert inputs to outputs. process management is to manage known from flow. Process vs. Data, which one should come first?

Logically, process always comes first: Processes exist whether they are undocumented/ documented. Businesses have processes before flow-graphing was invented and before computers existed. Process is "what are you trying to do, what result are you trying to achieve." Then, you can ask "what data do you need." If you don't know what you are trying to do, how can you possibly know what data you might need? At the same time, you can see the value of collecting lots of data, since you never know what might be needed in the future, but that is a different question.

In ideal world, process should be primary. Whereas businesses usually use inherited systems as data sources, the process has not to be constrained by them. You should have to construct data adapters for the process to work properly. But in the real world, you have always been constrained by existing systems and databases. Process never stands alone, and rarely is the sole source of data for any meaningful process. So while you consider process primary, you must consider existing data sources as constraints. Ignoring them while designing processes is likely to lead to a bad result and rework.

It’s just another chicken-egg debate: As long as you have the freedom to design what you want to do. Then you design the process, define the data you need along the way... All is good. In many cases you are often forced to look at existing processes, existing data collection, and the challenge is to make things "lean". Do you need to collect the data, or is there a way to streamline the process and get the same data leaner. Do you collect Big Data and are you benefitting from it? When you have to mix Data Management initiatives and Business Process improvement, only the concerted approach will work and the overlap is inevitable. So it turns to be another chicken and egg debate.

Data drives process, when multiple groups and / or department and / or people involved in the process. For example, customer on-boarding process, dispute tracking process is highly dependent on data, data elements, and business rules for process optimization. In these scenarios, data has significant role in defining the process and data comes first. A good process includes understanding of Value, Function, Data, Responsibility and control flow. Function and Data are thus integral to a good process.

Always emphasize on the Data part: Though process may come first, always put emphasis on the data part. Each step generates data ranging from a simple "done" declaration by an individual performing the step, to the collection of, for example, various data elements needed by steps downstream from a step that has the focus. First keeping the practice you want to incorporate as processes. Data quality, frequency of occurrence, impediments of decisions for Data variance and many analytical factors have major influence on the fine parts of a Process Definition. Process definition though has been marked as the principal skeleton of an Enterprise Business Regulations, yet to define it to the finest position, data science has a huge contribution. When you talk about the Business Decision Management, you should have Data analysis part first to get all Social education embedded within a process. Recent development on Digital Transformation can also be invited to make your processes implanted in the womb of OMNI Channels when data analytics and science have been well thought off and recognized within the definition of your process.

Like so many things, it depends: The technical answer would be process first because someone had to do it the first time in order to measure it. But the reality is that over 90% of the processes of today's world are based on some previous iteration. As new mediums and environments emerge, the initial balance starts heavy on process over data, and then shifts toward data over time. An outsider who comes into an organization and is unable to find anyone who can describe a particular process can reverse engineer that process by carrying out data mining. If the process is mostly linear it is easy to reverse engineer a process. If the process is complex with multiple branching points where different pathways are undertaken on the basis of data, experience, judgment, intuition, and, at times, arbitrary action, it becomes more difficult to derive a process from data.

Hence, it is just another chicken-egg debate, process and data go hand in hand. Processes are defined around some outcomes/KPIs and objectives to improve in defined region where Data is important to be defined for the same. Similarly, Data has no meaning until it is owned and given some identity. Processes give the Data a shape to be quantifiable as well.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

IT Reinforcement

It is not that businesses need to reinforce IT ASAP, but they need reinforce accountability.

There are stresses in many professions and people must respond accordingly.Technology is becoming more critical than ever before and organizations will need to ensure that IT professionals are challenged, but not overwhelmed if they expect to retain them. So why haven't more technology professionals and business leaders leveraged manage services to reduce the burden affordably, and how to reinforce IT department ASAP?

Ownership: Leaders need to own such problems. The organizational leaders and IT leaders (at all levels) create this environment. There are too many excuses on why work and stress loads are at their current levels, it’s time for leaders to own the problem. They (again at all levels) need to fully understand the issue and decide to remedy it. Stressing out employees is not helpful to the company or its stakeholders in the long-run. It exposes how a leader might address the pressures his/her staff feel; how that leader keeps his/her focus on the staff to ensure personnel are professionally healthy. Is that leader in touch and engaged with the reality of what the department is facing, do they help achieve success or just take credit for it? Set boundaries between your staff and those they serve; enforce those boundaries and allow your people to have a life outside work. Promote the staff who ignores those boundaries because they are leaders who take extract mile and think holistically.

Competitive differentiation: A clear understanding what services are supporting your competitive advantage is needed. Services not critical in this regard can be brought/bought outside. As IT is increasingly supportive to the competitive position and the business in general, careful consideration must be made about which knowledge or skills have to be secured. Mis-judgement in this regard will hamper the long term ability of the IT department to independently support strategic initiatives from the business. Your supplier will help you out, but will offer the same solutions to the competition. Alternative solution though might be increasing quality within the IT departments, delivering services first time right takes less effort than fixing issues and business will be pleased as well.

Reinforcing accountability: It is not that businesses need to reinforce IT ASAP, but they need reinforce accountability. A lot of issues come from false reports and hot fixes for resolution. Standardized Enterprise Reports will show where resolution needs to be in place across the board and can allow in meetings to show strength or weakness in the company. The right formula also depends on organization and what they are trying to accomplish. If you have very tech-capable users, the attention to the support experience may not be as important as having highly qualified development staff. A quality IT leader will gather the requirements from the business leaders and develop a plan that, while it may not be their personal favorite, submits to the needs of the business.

Varying perceptions: This is a great topic because if your people fail, your mission fails. How you find a solution to any problem depends on your perspective to that problem, but every problem has numerous angles to take into consideration. Thus, in most cases, it boils down to how you view the problem from two different outlooks; from above or from below. Now you still have all the different angles to consider but they may look very different depending on your perspective. Whether you are looking from above (CXOs) or below, both have the intention to ensure the best result for the company. From above and understanding that this view point is vital to the long term goals of an organization, managed services can look like a great answer. You get technical expertise, a deep bench of resources at a reasonable annual cost. You eliminate some of the employee relates expenses, responsibility and overhead particularly in regards to choosing good employees or dealing with bad hires. On paper your costs are trending down, your network diagram and technical portfolio looks stronger and your business continuity seems significantly more robust. All of these elements might in fact be true depending on where you started from, but from a different angle, see a different point of view.

Governance and capacity planning: Capacity planning needs to be part of the corporate initiatives around continuous improvement. Capacity modeling is just one of the activities that is required for a high performing IT department. This will allow for a transparent view from across the organization that should help level the playing field. Better yet, if all the departments in an organization practice capacity planning, you will move closer to organizational harmony and efficacy, and it is important to measure the ROI on such an activity. Capacity planning will not lower the workload; however, it will give management a true picture of activities so decision can be made on the ideal workload. The key to successful capacity planning is to knowing what you are doing, being transparent, and clear leadership (at all levels) and governance so everyone knows what they are to execute on. Implementing governance requires effort and expense. If the technical leadership is already on its heels managed services can reinforce the IT department and help implement those policies with CIO services. Too many organizations lack a governance system and are in reactive mode. A quality program within the IT department will enable you to switch to a proactive mode and bring you in control. Any minute saved fixing issues will enable you to spend another minute preventing one & supporting business initiatives. 
CIO leadership: Last, but not the least, the issue of IT project failure rate has more to do with CIO leadership, or the lack of it, more than anything else. Too many IT leaders are chosen for their technology skills rather than their influential leadership ability. When this is carried to the C-level, it becomes a recipe for disaster for the entire enterprise.The CIO must be involved in two types of integration. The most important is integration of the technology with the goals of the enterprise because technology without business application has not value. The second is integration between technologies so that the entire system is much greater than the sum of its parts. This second piece of integration can be delegated to a technology systems integrator on the CIO's team. However, integration with the business requires a CIO who is fully enmeshed with the other executive staff members in the business aspects of the enterprise. This leadership and business oriented CIO can then take the real business needs back to their technology team and get them working on the right things. This CIO will see technology as a tool to meet business needs and make the enterprise more competitive and successful. That attitude will filter through the organization and the team will strongly feel the responsibility to help choose business supporting technologies that will be successful.

 Organizations rely more and more on technology; the IT department has more and more to overcome. Running at digital speed, people tend to have high expectation of digital flow, very little patience with technology issues, and therefore technology people. Therefore, businesses have to spend enough time focusing on the people element, start with leadership, enhance governance practice, and reinforce IT based on tailored solution and continuous improvement.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

How to Develop the Performance Measures for Strategy?

 A good strategy tells you not only what specifically needs to accomplished, but why.

Strategy will start being more and more dynamic, so the consistency and "perennial" guide of the organization will be better represented by company’s identity. Leadership, strategy and management will build, develop and make that proposed (desired) identity. Going further, the metrics should also be immersed in a sustainable development way of thinking. However, what’s systematic thinking and which approach should you use to develop the performance measures for your strategy?

Strategy has two components: Strategy has one component envisioned and a second component being evolving strategy (the corrections, fine tuning and adjustments). Your vision should be broken into the major goals and measurements required to realize the vision and then broken down to the specific order and time frames. These should be validated as much as possible and well debated. 

The four parts or tests of a good strategy: First and foremost strategy must be measurable! The four parts or test of a good strategy: (1) can it be validated, 2) is it easily communicated and understood to a level where it is ingrained into the workings of the operation, 3)  can it be clearly identified what problem is to be overcome or capability created  4) and does it have a high probability of actually solving it. 

Strategy has four-step cycles: Part one is clearly identifying what needs to be done, secondly how it will be done -the operational tactics and timeframes, thirdly what specific results/ outcomes are expected when and 4) finally the vital evaluation and feedback loop. If the results are not what was expected, then you can look at if the strategy needs adjustment or revision or did the implementation execute to plan and finally were the results achievable. Laser focus on the details and utilizing key leading indicators to identify as early as possible if the planned results are likely to be achieved so adjustments are made timely is key.

Three key questions to clarify strategy: It is important that complete consistency is kept between the goals of the strategy process and the targets that are set in an operational annual plan. Using three key questions in rolling out strategy to minimize misunderstandings, as expecting that people fully understand what is in your head is a dangerous and usually detrimental assumption. These questions go a long way to open up the dialogue and ensure everyone is on the right path. Don't be surprise if at first people can’t answer the questions. This is an excellent indicator of future issues and allows you to provide the appropriate level of support and guidance early in the project. Here are the three questions which can be asked to eliminate a lot of the confusion: 
1)Tell me how you will define success? This question requests the individual to tell you what they think needs to be accomplished in these words and can be used to validate they have a good handle on what needs to be done. 
2) What will your strategies and tactics be used to achieve the outcome? This provides a roadmap that can be used to evaluate approach and progress as the project unfolds. 
3). What issues, concerns, assistance do you think you will need or encounter?

Measures varying based on different objectives. Depends on whether it is a corporate strategy or a business unit strategy. When you define goals and objectives, resulting from a strategic thinking/implementation process, these goals should have a mid to long term time horizon with intermediate checkpoints. If you make those checkpoint reviews annually, they can coincide with the annual planning process. Objectives are different, hence the measures will also vary. A strategy sets goals and directions - and must include steps on the ladder of activities, leading to the goals. These "steps" (milestones...) must be quantified and on a timeline. And specific leaders in the organization must take ownership for each of the "steps" - and it must be part of their performance measurement. At a corporate level, financial measures will help the organization to choose between alternate strategies and make it (organization) profitable. For example, NPV (net present value) and discounted cash flow (DCF) as some of the parameters. You can also aim for a targeted market share and penetration rate. May be targeted ROE for the company as compared to the industry. 

If you don't know where you are going any road will get you there. A good strategy tells you not only what specifically needs to accomplished, but why, and in many case what is at risk in doing or not doing the goal. Strategy steers the ship by providing the navigation through the risks and obstacles to successfully reach your desired positions. At a high level, it is critically important, to first understand the "waterfall' relationship that follows strategy. Strategy should dictate the supporting business processes and these business processes in-turn drive the supporting organizational structures required. Therefore, to have a "complete" picture of how effective your strategy is, you must have relevant metrics that measure not only financial and market performance, but operational and organizational performance as well.

Twitter Delicious Facebook Digg Stumbleupon Favorites More