I am laying claim to this term and betting that you will find it as helpful as I do for strategic planning.
A conjunction is a word that links independent clauses or ideas to form a single sentence. Thanks to Mrs. Egan, my elementary school teacher, for her excellent instruction in grammar. In the case of setting objectives, the conjunction that is most powerful is “while”.
Consider these objectives:
- Increase or maintain employee engagement scores at current levels while achieving a 10% reduction in expenses.
- Grow sales of the new product line by 15% while increasing sales of existing product line by 5%.
- Increase customer loyalty while maintaining profitability margins.
Conjunctive objectives are akin to Kaplan’s concept of the balanced scorecard. Success in achieving one objective should not come at the expense of another key element of the strategy. Conjunctive objectives also reduce employee perception of “competing objectives” because it is clear that both must be achieved.
Technically, “while” is a subordinating conjunction, but I will leave that to the Mrs. Egans of the world to explain.