The Strategic Objectives created out of strategic themes have to be SMART
Provide enough detail so that we can effectively translate it to the troops. This means that instead of saying 'Significantly increase sales volume' we should say 'Double the sales volume over three years'.
Your objective should be such that it should have defined measures and standards (for those Measures) to clearly define not only when you have succeeded, but also when you have failed.
The objective should be aggressive to catch the aspirations of the people, and get the most out of them.
While the objective should be aggressive it should not be unrealistic. People loose interest, if the objective is too high OR too low.
Objective should have the time frames for achievement and if possible, interim milestones as well.
Establish Measures for all the objectives
As you are establishing the objectives, you can make them SMART by establishing the delivery, time and volume Measures and Key Performance Indicators. Typically a strategic objective span could be from 6 months (for a very urgent 'go all for it' objective) to five years. Given the kind of dynamism in the environment, this figure of five years is a question-mark and it does get reduced to three years. This is because the old ethos of 'develop/build/operationalize' is getting replaced by 'acquire/ build-operate-transfer/ outsource'
Some of the Measures will include the major initiatives, which are linked to the success of the strategic objective.
There is more to it than numbers to make the strategic objectives really SMART. The approach is different from what you would apply on yearly targets OR business plan. The short-term business plan targets are driven by numbers. Though same for long term strategic objectives as well, there will be a fair emphasis on the success criteria, which includes description of how the outcome will look like.
For example, lets say that one wants to lay down ATM network in a given market as one of the strategic objectives. Apart from numbers and transactions Measures, one also need to detail out the success definition in terms of closeness of ATMs to the activity centers, the signage and visibility of ATMs, customer feedback on ATMs and the retention of customers in the given geography. Some of these measures are not possible to be put in mathematical terms, but they are equally important.
Identify the strategic initiatives to enable the objectives
While there are many initiatives needed to achieve enterprise level strategy, the list of initiatives here will be the ones, which have considerable impact and resource requirements.
For example 'Laying down ATM Network' is a strategic initiative and 'Re-engineer the customer application form' is not.
In a high change environment, the list of initiatives gather greater importance. The BAU can achieve gradual improvements. Initiatives are needed to drive quantum changes. At the same time, one cannot be compromised for another.