Definitions and Examples

This table provides some useful definitions of terms and examples for results-based strategic design. The Southwest Airlines examples provide a clear way to remember the differences among results, strategies, activities, and other terms.

DefinitionA desired new outcome that produces a measurable gain for the organization and/or its constituentsBehavior-changing means to the result; needed when result cannot be produced by current habits and traditionDoing something new that will make the organization better, producing a result that can’t be achieved by business as usualThe specific things we do to make the strategy happenAn activity that can be done quickly to test and improve the strategy’s critical conceptsPoints along the way that will tell us how we are progressing toward the result
Criteria for a good oneAn end, not a meansA means that will clearly achieve the endInvolves significantly different behaviorClearly oriented toward strategy and resultCan be done quicklyProvides clear measurement of results to date
You can clearly tell when it’s been achievedWill have definable milestones of achievement along the wayWill make things better, not just differentCan be done relatively quicklyEffectively tests critical conceptsQuantifiable
Achievement of the result = a definite change for the betterWill produce results in a short amount of timeA better means of achieving a result than current meansCan be organized by a small group of peopleCan be real (e.g., small fundraising campaign) or virtual (e.g., mock-up one-stop shop)
Shows a clear understanding of constituents’ needsCan be taken on by early adopters; does not require consensusNot innovation for innovation’s sake
Example (Southwest Airlines)Get people who now ride buses to ride planesReduce gate timeChanged behavior at all levels of organizationClean planes in the air
Example (University)Decrease dependence on tuition revenue to 75%Increase revenue from grants, philanthropy, auxiliary operations by leverage grants, philanthropy, and other income in a unified wayOperate Advancement office with lean manufacturing techniques (fewer steps in each process)Hire grants coordinator and write grants; promote cases for support to likely donors; sell more stuff in bookstore and promote it.Limited campaign for a fundraising project (e.g., renovation of entrance room to main building)Cost per-dollar raised to national standard in one year; annual reduction in tuition revenue percentage
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