Strategic goals outline a destination of where leaders want the business to get over time. They should align to the company mission, vision and values and have buy-in from the company as a whole. When an organisations' strategic goals are properly aligned with the team culture, employee engagement and performance improve.
It may seem like a simple process to flesh out a handful of significant strategic or business goals. Getting your goals down on paper is the easy part. The hard work comes in with developing and implementing an effective strategic planning process.
Good strategic goals should:
- Mirror the characteristics of your company vision, core values, mission and business model.
- Take industry, economic and market trends into consideration, leaving room to adapt and pivot.
- Consider the strengths, weaknesses and capacity of your current team.
Once you have strategic goals in place, you need to pair them with strategic objectives that are meaningful and measurable. As the management leader Peter Drucker said, 'What gets measured gets managed.' This is what makes the next steps so important. If you are measuring things that don't matter, you aren't doing your business any favors.
How do you and your team develop the best strategic plan? How do you decide which KPI's (link to Samewave KPI article) and objectives to measure? KPIs help leaders determine if they have met their business objectives within a particular timeline. Managers and teams often use KPIs as a gauge for judging if a strategic objective is effective or helpful in measuring individual performance.
Start with the broad idea of what you want to achieve and where you want the team and business to go. Review your strategic priorities and goals. Work down from there to develop the best strategic objectives.
Pair at least one objective with each strategic goal to measure individual goals. The strategic objective should effectively be able to track how you are moving from your present state to the desired state in a specific time frame.
For instance, a software startup may have a strategic priority to expand their revenue streams and industry market share. Develop strategic goals that will support this priority, such as:
- Develop and launch a new product line.
- Expand into two new markets and acquire 300 new customers.
- Increase customer retention with an improved customer service delivery model.
These goals all relate to the overarching strategic priority and outline where they want to go, but they will have varying modes of measurement. Each of these goals will have their own strategic objectives.
Let's take the example of the goal of expanding into two new markets and acquiring 300 new customers in the next nine months and break it down. Many good leaders find using the S.M.A.R.T. planning method (link to samewave article) effective for turning a strategic plan into action with measurable steps. S.M.A.R.T. goals use the acronym to break goals into objectives that are specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and timely.
The S.M.A.R.T. goal objectives might look like this:
Specific: After receiving the results of a market evaluation, we will expand into the cities of Chicago and Los Angeles.
Measurable: We will acquire at least 300 new customers as a result of the expansion.
Attainable: We hired and trained two new sales representatives to support the new markets.
Relevant: There is a demonstrated need, but the lack of customer satisfaction rates with similar competitors in the area makes the cities a prime location for expansion.
Timely: After nine months, we will have acquired at least 300 new customers in Chicago and Los Angeles.
Developing measurable goals and objectives that align with the overall business strategy is imperative for success. But, how do you ensure follow through for team members accountable for tasks that lead to the goal?
Good leaders minimize decision-making dilemmas by managing teams and making it easy to demonstrate progress towards strategic goals. Whether it's optimising social media presence, maximising revenue or innovating a method to create a decrease in attrition rates, adherence towards strategic goals and objectives matter.
Any organisation can have the best intentions with a praiseworthy strategic plan, but unless they involve the entire team from the bottom up, the best planning may be useless. This is why companies must employ effective strategic planning tools and software to make thoughtful intentions a reality.
Intelligently-led organisations rely on a strategic business model that encourages responsibility and promotes accountability towards strategic goals with effective tracking methods. With the right tools and software, companies can track, measure and collaborate easily with their teams about the goals and objectives that matter most.
Let your teams get back to what they do best, without wasting time with endless meetings about progress towards goals and objectives. Instead, let Samewave handle generating, tracking and sharing automatic, custom performance management reports, in real-time.
Improve your strategic planning process gradually by developing new S.M.A.R.T. goals and meaningful objectives weekly. Help ensure they are achieved by weaving in tools that increase responsibility towards goals and objectives.
Learn more about how you can leverage the power of promises and accountability in your business model without the need for cumbersome annual performance reviews. Increase productivity and align your goals with your corporate mission today with the best software. Samewave is free, so implement it today to make your strategic plan a reality.