Set Better Strategic Goals – Examples and Templates
By Jibility Strategy Execution Expert Michael Anderson
Setting strategic goals is crucial for the success of any business. Setting better strategic goals will help to define your company’s direction, prioritize resources and measure progress. A well-defined set of goals can help to focus your organization’s efforts, align employees with your company’s vision, and increase your chances of success. Setting quality strategic goals is a crucial step in closing the strategy execution gap.
Here are some steps that you can follow to set better strategic goals.
1. Start with a clear vision and mission statement
A vision statement defines where the company wants to be in the future, while the mission statement defines the company’s purpose and how it plans to achieve its vision. These two statements form the foundation of any strategic planning process and should inform the company’s goals.
2. Conduct a SWOT analysis
SWOT stands for Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats. A SWOT analysis is an old-school, but powerful method to reviewing your organization’s position. You can follow our instruction on conducting a comprehensive SWOT analysis here. When done properly, a SWOT analysis provides a comprehensive view of the company’s internal and external environment, which can be used to identify areas for improvement and set goals accordingly.
3. Set SMART goals
You have probably heard of SMART goals before, (just in case you haven’t, SMART stands for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound). We specify setting SMART goals, because even the most experienced strategist can still fall into the trap of over-complicating their business goals. As you work through setting better strategic goals, we encourage you to focus on ensuring you are definitely leveraging SMART goals, as this framework helps to ensure that your goals are well-defined, realistic, and can be tracked over time.
4. Engage all stakeholders
Strategic planning should involve the participation of employees, managers, and executives to ensure that goals are aligned with the company’s vision and values. This can help to build buy-in and commitment, making it easier to achieve your chosen goals. Conducting a strategic goal setting workshop can be a powerful approach to engaging key decision makers when setting your goals. You can read more about conducting a powerful strategic session here.
5. Prioritize and allocate resources
Goals should be prioritized based on their importance and the resources needed to achieve them. This includes identifying the people, technology, and funding needed to support the goals. At Jibility we leverage a simple 2×2 prioritization matrix, which allows you to organize the importance of your goals against multiple criteria at once. Jibility has a built-in 2×2 prioritization lasso that helps you to quickly visualize your most important goals and plan work initiatives to achieve them.
6. Regularly review and adjust goals
Your business environment is constantly changing, so it’s important to regularly review and adjust the goals you have set, as needed. Continually reviewing your goals and tracking progress against each one, helps to ensure that your goals remain relevant and are being delivered. In an ever-changing environment, monitoring progress towards strategic goals and pivoting on the fly is more important than ever, but that doesn’t make it easy to achieve. If you choose to leverage a strategic roadmap tool, like Jibility, you will be able to quickly visualise and understand you and your team’s progress against specific goals, as well as how those goals directly relate to achieving your strategic vision.
Examples of Great Strategic Goals:
- Increase revenue by 10% within the next 12 months through expanding our product line and expanding into new markets.
- Improve customer satisfaction by 20% within the next 18 months through enhancing our customer service process and investing in employee training.
- Launch a new product or service within the next 6 months by conducting market research and developing a comprehensive go-to-market strategy.
- Reduce operating costs by 15% within the next 24 months through streamlining processes, improving efficiency, and reducing waste.
- Improve employee engagement by 30% within the next 12 months through enhancing our culture, offering professional development opportunities, and improving communication.
- Increase market share by 5% within the next 18 months through expanding our product offerings and enhancing our marketing efforts.
- Enhance our digital capabilities by 50% within the next 24 months through investing in technology and data analytics.
- Increase brand recognition by 25% within the next 12 months through launching a new brand awareness campaign and partnering with influencers.
- Expand into new geographic markets within the next 18 months by researching new market opportunities and developing a comprehensive go-to-market strategy.
- Increase employee retention by 20% within the next 12 months through improving our employee benefits program and enhancing our culture.
- Improve product quality by 30% within the next 24 months through investing in R&D, improving processes, and implementing quality control measures.
- Increase social media following by 50% within the next 12 months through launching a social media marketing campaign and leveraging influencer partnerships.
- Reduce carbon footprint by 25% within the next 18 months through implementing sustainability practices and reducing waste.
- Improve customer acquisition by 30% within the next 12 months through launching a new marketing campaign and expanding our product offerings.
- Enhance our supply chain by 50% within the next 24 months through streamlining processes, improving communication with suppliers, and investing in technology.
You’re Ready to Set Better Strategic Goals and Bring Your Strategy to Life
Setting better strategic goals requires a clear vision and mission, a comprehensive understanding of your company’s environment, and early engagement of all stakeholders. By setting goals that are measurable, prioritizing resources, and regularly reviewing and adjusting your goals, you can increase your organization’s chances of realising your strategic vision.
Managing a comprehensive list of business goals is challenging, especially when you are having to adjust to a highly agile business environment. When you use Jibility, you can easily visualise how your business is tracking against specific goals, plus how those goals directly correlate with achieving your overarching business strategy.
Strategic Goals Exmaples – People Also Asked
What are the major areas for strategic goals?
The major areas for strategic goals typically include:
- Financial performance: goals that focus on improving revenue, profit margins, return on investment, or cash flow./li>
- Market position: goals that aim to improve market share, customer satisfaction, or brand recognition.
- Organizational growth: goals that focus on expanding the business, launching new products or services, or entering new markets.
- Operations and efficiency: goals that aim to improve processes, reduce costs, and increase productivity.
- Talent management: goals that focus on attracting, developing, and retaining talent, and creating a positive work environment.
- Innovation and technology: goals that aim to integrate new technologies, improve digital capabilities, and drive innovation.
- Sustainability and social responsibility: goals that focus on environmental sustainability, ethical business practices, and social impact.
Each organization will have its own unique mix of strategic goals, depending on its vision, mission, and circumstances. It’s important to prioritize goals and allocate resources accordingly, and to regularly review and adjust goals as the business environment changes. A well-defined set of strategic goals can help drive growth and improve performance, while also providing a roadmap for decision-making and resource allocation.
How many strategic goals should an organization have?
The number of strategic goals an organization should have depends on its size, complexity, and priorities. However, it’s recommended to have a small number of high-level goals that are directly aligned with the organization’s overall strategy, vision and mission.
Having too many goals can lead to confusion, dilution of focus, and a lack of progress towards any particular objective. On the other hand, having too few goals can limit the organization’s potential for growth and improvement.
As a general guideline, a company should aim to have 3-5 strategic goals. These goals should be comprehensive enough to cover the key areas of the business but focused enough to allow the organization to direct its resources and attention effectively.
It’s important to keep in mind that strategic goals are not set in stone and should be regularly reviewed and revised as the organization’s circumstances change. The goal is to have a small number of high-level, focused, and achievable goals that drive growth and improvement for the organization.
Why are strategic goals important?
Strategic goals are important for several reasons:
Provide direction: Strategic goals provide a clear direction and focus for an organization, helping to prioritize resources and decision-making.
Drive growth and improvement: By setting specific and measurable goals, organizations can track progress and make data-driven decisions to drive growth and improvement.
Foster accountability: Assigning responsibility and resources to achieve strategic goals can help foster accountability and ensure progress is being made.
Align the organization: Strategic goals help to align all employees and departments towards a common vision and mission, fostering collaboration and teamwork.
Monitor progress: Strategic goals serve as a benchmark for measuring progress and making adjustments as needed to stay on track.
Attract investment: Clearly defined and achievable strategic goals can help attract investment, as investors want to see that a company has a well-thought-out plan for growth and improvement.
Having a clear set of strategic goals is essential for driving the success and growth of an organization. It helps to align resources and efforts, track progress, and make data-driven decisions that drive improvement and ultimately bring your strategic vision to life.
Should goals or strategy be determined first?
The relationship between goals and strategy can be seen as a chicken and egg situation, with both being important and interdependent. However, it’s recommended to start with defining a clear strategy before setting specific goals.
A well-defined strategy provides the framework for setting goals and helps to ensure that goals are aligned with the organization’s vision and mission. Strategy also helps to identify opportunities for growth, areas for improvement, and the resources needed to achieve desired outcomes.
Once the strategy is in place, specific goals can then be set that are directly aligned with the strategy and that support the achievement of the overall vision and mission. Goals should be SMART (specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound), and should provide a clear direction and focus for the organization.
In summary, defining a clear strategy first provides a foundation for setting effective and achievable goals, and helps to ensure that any organization is working towards a common vision and mission.