Strategic Goals describe what the organisation wants to accomplish in the longer term (3-5 years). They should be aligned with the organisation’s Strategic Vision and should act as a focal point for all of the activities defined in the business plan.
To be effective, strategic goals should be decomposed into objectives that relate to the organisation as a whole, including departments, employees, customers and other stakeholders. These objectives will normally be more short-term in nature and will be organised into specific areas that require focus, such as operating efficiency, profit, production, service delivery, customer satisfaction, marketing, growth, sustainability, etc.
Management must effectively communicate the goals to the entire organisation in a way that encourages and empowers people to work towards achieving them.
These goals and objectives should provide direction to both the management team and to employees, thereby setting expectations and assisting with the decision making process in the organisation.
Goals can be broad or narrow in scope. For example, profitability will include sub-goals relating to how the company intends to achieve the desired profitability, which may include increasing sales, reducing costs, etc.
Goals are also internal. Departments such as sales and marketing have individual goals to meet. For instance, the company decides how many units need to be sold by each salesperson to meet its profit expectations. In turn, the salespeople are encouraged to meet sales quotas.
Examples of corporate goals may include:
“To increase profitability by 10% in 3 years”.
“To organize and host an international conference on the subject of …. by…”
“To be carbon-neutral by …”
“To have a 95% customer satisfaction rating by …”.
All of the above goals conform to the be ‘SMART’ criteria – Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Time bound. Thismeans that they are quantifiable so that their progress can be monitored and their attainment (or non-attainment) can be clearly measured at the end of the specified period.