88 Ethics by Design
the desired outcome is clear: better health. And yet, “doing
more” isn’t translating into better health. To yield better health,
a Mega-level outcome, a system transformation is in order.
That entails starting with the true desired outcome (better
health, or higher employment or decreased abuse—whatever
your organization is in the business of) and then aligning that
ultimate outcome strategically down through the very Macro
and Micro level objectives of your organization, on into your
processes and inputs.
Strategic planning starts at the level of what results (not
what products) you deliver to external clients and society—the
Mega level. Then, you plan what results your organization will
deliver outside itself—the Macro level. This level of results
includes any increased sales, timeliness, increased efficiency
or ease of use, graduation rates, number of cases handled and
resolved, and so forth. The most common objectives are written
at the Macro level, when a company states it wants to be the
leading organization in what it delivers (e.g., the leading pro-
ducer of greeting cards or the leading engineering program in
the United States). And then finally, you plan for the quality of
products, as when a company sets objectives around fewer
defective parts or more paper goods produced from recycled
and recyclable materials. Those desired objectives then align
downward into the critical processes for the organization to
accomplish those ends and the necessary resources the
organization can use to get there.
Aligning Societal Level Objectives
Down Into Your Organization
Let’s look at some detailed examples of good objectives at the
Mega, Macro and Micro levels, and then examine how to align
and why alignment is so important. These examples span
across settings to demonstrate how these sorts of objectives
can be developed in any environment. The first three examples
are used with permission from an article on writing useful
objectives by Moore, Ellsworth & Kaufman.
Nailing Mud: Socially Responsible Strategic Planning 89
A Mega-Level Example Objective
Among the new expectations for organizations is a growing
demand from their customers or constituents for them to be
socially responsive and responsible. Mega-level objectives
represent the planner’s tools for achieving these expectations.
An example provided earlier—a military example—shows how
an entity can clearly articulate Mega-level objectives:
By the conclusion of Ramadan, non-combatant civil-
ians residing in the Province will suffer no greater rates
of violent death or injury than those seen from baseline
crime rates in surrounding countries deemed by the
United Nations to be “at peace.” All coalition force
operations will be conducted in accordance with U.S.
and international law, as indicated by no upheld suc-
cessful prosecutions of coalition personnel in military or
international courts for offenses causing loss of life,
limb, and/or livelihood. There will be no loss of non-
combatant civilian life attributed to coalition force
operations as certified by Provincial government or
United Nations monitors.
Examples of Mega-level outcomes are measured based on
the set of 13 societal results covered in chapter 2. These
include such indicators as health and well-being, conse-
quences of pollution, accidents, discrimination, poverty, sub-
stance abuse, disease, shelter, war and/or riot, harm to envi-
ronment, starvation (or malnutrition), child abuse, partner/
spousal abuse, and self-sufficiency. Notice how, in this military
example, desirable societal results are stated clearly and focus
on measurable outcomes. In addition, the objective details pre-
cisely what will be measured and by whom or by what criteria.
It establishes a very clear standard for what the desired social
impact of the military in that region will be. There are many
additional examples across other industries provided at the end
of this chapter.

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