Goals - Strategic Management

Once you've established a vision, mission and role, and done internal and external scans, you should have enough information to set goals for the period that your strategic plan covers. What's the nature of these goals?Obviously, the goals you define as part of your strategic plan should describe what the company as a whole need to achieve to be successful over the life of the strategic plan. These goals should be IMPORTANT, apply to the entire organization, and the links between the goals and company success should be clear and obvious. The goals should be measurable -- specific enough so that it's possible to determine whether you are progessing satisfactorily towards the achievement of the goals, and/or so you can examine whether they have been achieved.

Goals in your strategic planning can be either result oriented, or process oriented, although it's probably better to have results oriented goals. Here are examples of results oriented goals:

  • Percentage market share (by product and/or country)
  • A ratio, such as return on sales
  • An absolute figure for sales
  • A minimum figure for customer complaints
  • A maximum figure for hours lost in industrial disputes
  • A labour productivity ratio
  • Total number of employees
  • A maximum employee ‘wastage’ rate
  • A standard cost
  • A cost-reduction target
  • A date by which a particular event must take place

Standards of performance
One of the core goals when drafting a strategic plan is to develop it in a way that is easily translatable into action plans. Most strategic plans address high level initiatives and over-arching goals, but don't get articulated (translated) into day-to-day projects and tasks that will be required to achieve the plan. Terminology or word choice, as well as the level a plan is written, are both examples of easy ways to fail at translating your strategic plan in a way that makes sense and is executable to others. Often, plans are filled with conceptual terms which don't tie into day-to-day realities for the staff expected to carry out the plan.


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Strategic Management Topics