Most of us will be familiar with SMART objectives (Specific, Measureable, Aligned/Agreed, Realistic, Timely). But on a recent trip to Cornwall, I was introduced to an alternative approach for setting objectives – PASTIE! Peter Toland-Urquheart, OU lecturer and former owner-manager of Sennen Surf School, explained his new methodology…

Practical – Turn objectives into action – make sure they are not just based on principles and theories. Be pragmatic about what can be done. Remember – you can’t ‘do’ an objective, you can only ‘do’ an action – so think about what actions, tasks & activities you will need to complete the objective.

Agreed – Objectives should not be imposed on people. Involve them in agreeing their objectives in order to increase buy-in.

Systematic – There should be a planned, ordered process for completion – ensure the focus is not just on results and consequences. Think about not just what will be done, but how, in what order, what resources you will need etc.

Timely – Objectives should be time-phased with clear stages and milestones where appropriate. Definite date deadlines are more motivating & productive than more vague statements such as ‘in the next 6 months’.

Integrated – What is the whole-part connection? Make sure you’re clear on inter-dependencies so objectives fit in with each other and other parts of the business. Particularly make sure that objectives are not counter-productive or work against each other!

Enjoyable – happier people are more productive people! We can’t necessarily cherry-pick the bits of our job we like most, but work shouldn’t be purgatory for people – so try & ensure they have objectives that relate to things they enjoy doing & feel more positive about.

And as Pete says, “Everyone in Cornwall goes to work on a PASTIE!”