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65 strategic goals for your company (with examples)
Strategic goals are a critical part of your strategic plan. In order to achieve your long-term goals, you need a clear sense of where you want to go—and an easy way to share those goals with your team. In this article, we take a look at the difference between strategic goals and other goal setting methodologies, then offer 65 example metrics and strategic goals you can use to get started.
Goal-setting is a critical part of your business strategy. You want to make sure your team is cohesively moving in the right direction—and goals are a great way to do that.
But in order for goals to be effective, they need to be measurable. The important thing isn’t just to create goals, but to create strategic goals that help you accomplish your overall company mission.
In this article, we’ll walk you through when to set strategic goals—vs. other types of goals—and how to do so.
What is a strategic goal?
Because strategic goals are closely connected to strategic planning, they tend to be three to five year goals. But the most important part of setting a strategic goal is to identify where you want to go, and what goals you need to achieve to get there.
How strategic goals compare to other business processes
There are a lot of different strategy and goal setting frameworks you can use. Here’s how strategic goals differ from other types of goals.
Strategic goals vs. strategic planning
Strategic planning is the process of defining the direction your company wants to go in the next three to five years. A strategic plan includes longer term goals, strategic goals, and shorter-term goals that describe how you’ll achieve your strategic goals. The strategic planning process is typically run by decision-makers and stakeholders.
Part of defining your strategic plan is coming up with strategic goals. Your strategic plan should also include customer insights, a SWOT analysis , your company values , your organization’s competitive advantages, specific goals on a quarterly or yearly timeline, and a high-level project roadmap if you have one.
Strategic goals vs. strategic management
Strategic management is the organization and execution of business resources in order to achieve your company goals. These usually help you implement your overall organizational strategy.
Strategic goals, on the other hand, are generally three to five year objectives that tie closely to your strategic plan.
Think of strategic goals as the specific things you want to achieve in three to five years. These strategic goals are part of your strategic plan, which provides more context and direction for why your company wants to move in that direction. Your strategic plan fuels your strategic management process, which is how you’ll actually achieve those goals.
Strategic goals vs. strategic objectives
The difference between strategic goals and strategic objectives is somewhat subjective. In general, objectives tend to be more specific than goals—some people argue that objectives are always quantitative, while goals can be either qualitative or quantitative.
Whether you use the terminology strategic goals vs. objectives , it’s critical to make sure your goals are specific, measurable, and actionable.
Strategic goals vs. big hairy audacious goals (BHAGs)
Big Hairy Audacious Goals (BHAGs) are long-term goals that typically take between 10 and 25 years to complete. These are industry-defining goals, like Microsoft’s famous goal to put "a computer on every desk and in every home."
Not every organization has—or needs—BHAGs. Depending on your business strategy, a vision statement might be enough. Whether or not you set BHAGs, strategic goals are shorter-term goals that help you accomplish these bigger, ambitious goals.
Strategic goals vs. OKRs
OKRs , which stands for Objectives and Key Results, is a goal setting methodology developed by Andy Grove that follows a simple but flexible framework:
I will [objective] as measured by [key result] .
OKRs can span multiple years, but most commonly these are one to two year objectives that help your company accomplish your larger strategic plan. In a typical OKR structure, your OKRs feed into your broader strategic goals.
Strategic goals vs. KPIs
KPIs, or key performance indicators , are qualitative measures of how you’re progressing. Like OKRs, KPIs tend to be shorter in time frame than strategic goals. This is partially due to the fact that KPIs are nearly always quantitative. Achieving several long-term KPIs helps you achieve your broader three to five year strategic goals.
Strategic goals vs. business goals
Business goals are predetermined targets that organizations plan to achieve in a specific amount of time. Technically, strategic goals—along with BHAGs, OKRs, and KPIs—are a type of business goal.
65 example strategic metrics and goals
If you’ve never written a strategic goal before, it’s helpful to check out common goals. Though your strategic goals are unique to your strategic plan, use these examples as templates to create measurable, actionable goals with clear success metrics.
Set strategic goals that are:
Easy to track
For more tips on what constitutes a good goal, read our article on how to write SMART goals .
Keep in mind that these goals should be achievable in three to five years. For shorter goals, consider setting OKRs or KPIs instead. For longer goals, check out vision statements and BHAGs .
Strategic goals: finance
Financial strategic goals typically center around a few different important financial metrics, including:
1. Increasing revenue
2. Attaining or maintaining profitability
3. Growing shareholder value
4. Diversifying your revenue streams
5. Becoming a financially sustainable company
6. Reducing production costs
7. Increasing profit margin
8. Setting revenue targets for new products
9. Reducing department-specific budgets
10. Influencing the percentage of local vs. international sales
Examples of financial strategic goals
These examples do not represent Asana’s goals, and are merely included here for educational purposes.
11. Increase total revenue by $10M in the next three years.
12. Reduce cost by 12% to become a profitable company by 2024.
13. Grow a specific product’s revenue to 30% of overall business revenue within the next five years.
14. Reduce marketing budget by 10% in the next three years.
15. Update our sales profile so 50% of our sales are international by 2026.
Strategic goals: customer-focused
Strategic goals that focus on your customers can help you break into a new market or further develop a trustworthy brand. These metrics can include:
16. Reducing customer churn
17. Measurably increasing customer satisfaction
18. Increasing the number of new customers
19. Increasing customer retention
20. Offering great customer value
21. Boosting customer outreach
22. Increasing customer conversion rates
23. Breaking into new customer segments
24. Increasing the number of returning customers
25. Decreasing the percentage of returned products
Examples of strategic goals focused on customer metrics
26. Increase net promoter score (NPS) by three points in the next year, and 10 points in the next five years.
27. Capture 23% market share by 2025.
28. Provide the best customer experience in the market—measured based on reaction time, customer sentiment, and brand tracking.
29. Increase customer retention by 3% every year.
30. Reduce the percentage of returned products to 2% by 2023.
Strategic goals: growth
On an organizational level, growth refers to how your company expands and develops. Growth metrics include:
31. Increasing market share
32. Breaking into new markets
33. Developing new products, features, or services
34. Increasing operational reliability and/or compliance
35. Increasing company velocity
36. Opening new locations
37. Building your brand on social media
38. Increasing website traffic
39. Acquiring a new company
Examples of strategic goals about growth
40. Open 12 new locations within the next four years.
41. Increase market share to 8% by 2026.
42. Reach 5M followers on social media (including Instagram and Twitter).
43. Increase web traffic to 300K visitors per year by 2024.
44. Start three new product streams by 2027.
Strategic goals: internal
You can also set strategic goals focusing on your internal company goals. Example employee-centric metrics can include:
45. Increasing employee retention
46. Adding new team members
47. Building a healthy organizational culture
48. Implementing a performance review cycle
49. Standardizing titles and/or levels
50. Improving cross-functional productivity
51. Spinning up a project management office (PMO) to standardize processes
52. Attracting the best talent
53. Building high-performing teams
54. Investing in personal and professional development
55. Reducing burnout and impostor syndrome
56. Building employee-focused training programs
57. Reducing employee turnover
58. Improving workplace safety
59. Building better facilities management
Examples of internal strategic goals
60. Add 20 new team members within the next four years.
61. Increase overall engagement scores by 7% based on yearly surveys.
62. Increase new hire referrals to 5,000 team members per year by 2026.
63. Develop and circulate new company values by 2023.
64. Implement a biannual performance review cycle within the next three years.
65. Attain maximum workplace safety score rating within the next three years.
Achieve your goals with goal tracking technology
Once you develop your goals, you need a clear way to track, measure, and communicate those goals. Too often, teams set great goals and then don’t know how to track those goals over time.
Instead of letting your goals collect dust in a slide deck or spreadsheet somewhere, use goal tracking technology to connect your strategic goals to your team’s daily work. With Asana , you can track long-term goals, as well as the shorter-term objectives that feed into those goals.
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Strategic goals are the specific financial and non-financial objectives and results a company aims to achieve over a specific period of time, usually the next three to five years.
Strategic goals are one of three things a company’s management team must articulate as part of its strategic planning process , with the others being its key success factors (the important elements required to achieve its goals) and its strategic scope (the products and services that will be offered, to whom and where).
Strategic goals are important because they:
- Drive priority setting, resource allocation, capability requirements and budgeting activities
- Inform individual and team objectives used to focus and align the efforts of all employees
- Inform the marketing, operations, IT and human resources plans for the coming years
- Provide benchmarks for comparing planned and actual results
Companies use the insights from their SWOT analysis to set their goals. They are refreshed annually as part of the strategic planning process.
More about strategic goals
Strategic goals may be either “hard” or “soft”—that is precisely measurable or not. Both types of goals should be defined for a variety of stakeholders, including customers, employees, communities and shareholders. The following chart shows some examples of hard and soft goals for each stakeholder:
- Grow number of clients by 5% per year
- Achieve customer loyalty scores of 85% or higher
- Keep number of employees at current levels
- Achieve employee engagement scores of 85% or higher
- 70% of employees are volunteering in the community
- Grow revenues by 7% and net income by 14% per year
- Introduce five new products per year
- Customers tell their friends about the company
- More new hires are referred to the company by employees
- Encourage ethical and respectful behaviour
- Gain reputation as a visible and valued contributor to the community
- Improve corporate responsibility
- Become a leader in product innovation
- Marketing plan
- Strategic planning
- SWOT analysis
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How to Set Strategic Planning Goals
- 29 Oct 2020
In an ever-changing business world, it’s imperative to have strategic goals and a plan to guide organizational efforts. Yet, crafting strategic goals can be a daunting task. How do you decide which goals are vital to your company? Which ones are actionable and measurable? Which goals to prioritize?
To help you answer these questions, here’s a breakdown of what strategic planning is, what characterizes strategic goals, and how to select organizational goals to pursue.
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What Is Strategic Planning?
Strategic planning is the ongoing organizational process of using available knowledge to document a business's intended direction. This process is used to prioritize efforts, effectively allocate resources, align shareholders and employees, and ensure organizational goals are backed by data and sound reasoning.
Research in the Harvard Business Review cautions against getting locked into your strategic plan and forgetting that strategy involves inherent risk and discomfort. A good strategic plan evolves and shifts as opportunities and threats arise.
“Most people think of strategy as an event, but that’s not the way the world works,” says Harvard Business School Professor Clayton Christensen in the online course Disruptive Strategy . “When we run into unanticipated opportunities and threats, we have to respond. Sometimes we respond successfully; sometimes we don’t. But most strategies develop through this process. More often than not, the strategy that leads to success emerges through a process that’s at work 24/7 in almost every industry."
Related: 5 Tips for Formulating a Successful Strategy
Characteristics of Strategic Goals
To craft a strategic plan for your organization, you first need to determine the goals you’re trying to reach. Strategic goals are an organization’s measurable objectives that are indicative of its long-term vision. Here are four characteristics of strategic goals to keep in mind when setting them for your organization.
The starting point for crafting strategic goals is asking yourself what your company’s purpose and values are . What are you striving for, and why is it important to set these objectives? Let the answers to these questions guide the development of your organization’s strategic goals.
“You don’t have to leave your values at the door when you come to work,” says HBS Professor Rebecca Henderson in the online course Sustainable Business Strategy .
Henderson, whose work focuses on reimagining capitalism for a just and sustainable world, also explains that leading with purpose can drive business performance.
“Adopting a purpose will not hurt your performance if you do it authentically and well,” Henderson says in a lecture streamed via Facebook Live . “If you’re able to link your purpose to the strategic vision of the company in a way that really gets people aligned and facing in the right direction, then you have the possibility of outperforming your competitors.”
Related: 5 Examples of Successful Sustainability Initiatives
2. Long-Term and Forward-Focused
While strategic goals are the long-term objectives of your organization, operational goals are the daily milestones that need to be reached to achieve them. When setting strategic goals, think of your company’s values and long-term vision, and ensure you’re not confusing strategic and operational goals.
For instance, your organization’s goal could be to create a new marketing strategy; however, this is an operational goal in service of a long-term vision. The strategic goal, in this case, could be breaking into a new market segment, to which the creation of a new marketing strategy would contribute.
Keep a forward-focused vision to ensure you’re setting challenging objectives that can have a lasting impact on your organization.
Strong strategic goals are not only long-term and forward-focused—they’re actionable. If there aren’t operational goals that your team can complete to reach the strategic goal, your organization is better off spending time and resources elsewhere.
When formulating strategic goals, think about the operational goals that fall under them. Are they actionable steps your team can take to achieve your organization’s objective? If so, the goal could be a worthwhile endeavor for your business.
When crafting strategic goals, it’s important to define how progress and success will be measured. For instance, the goal “become a household name” is valid but vague. Consider the intended timeframe to reach this goal and how you’ll operationally define “a household name.” The method of obtaining data must also be taken into account.
An appropriate revision to the original goal could be: “Increase brand recognition by 80 percent among surveyed Americans by 2030.” By setting a more specific goal, you can better equip your organization to reach it and ensure that employees and shareholders have a clear definition of success and how it will be measured.
Related: A Manager’s Guide to Successful Strategy Implementation
Prioritizing Strategic Goals
Once you’ve identified several strategic goals, determine which are worth pursuing. This can be a lengthy process, especially if other decision-makers have differing priorities and opinions.
To set the stage, ensure everyone is aware of the purpose behind each strategic goal. This calls back to Henderson’s point that employees’ alignment on purpose can set your organization up to outperform its competitors.
Calculate Anticipated ROI
Next, calculate the estimated return on investment (ROI) of the operational goals tied to each strategic objective. For example, if the strategic goal is “reach carbon-neutral status by 2030,” you need to break that down into actionable sub-tasks—such as “determine how much CO2 our company produces each year” and “craft a marketing and public relations strategy”—and calculate the expected cost and return for each.
The ROI formula is typically written as:
ROI = (Net Profit / Cost of Investment) x 100
In project management, the formula uses slightly different terms:
ROI = [(Financial Value - Project Cost) / Project Cost] x 100
An estimate can be a valuable piece of information when deciding which goals to pursue. Although not all strategic goals need to yield a high return on investment, it’s in your best interest to calculate each objective's anticipated ROI so you can compare them.
Consider Current Events
Finally, when deciding which strategic goal to prioritize, the importance of the present moment can’t be overlooked. What’s happening in the world that could impact the timeliness of each goal?
For example, the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and the ever-intensifying climate change crisis have impacted many organizations’ strategic goals in 2020. Often, the goals that are timely and pressing are those that earn priority.
Crafting Goals for the Future
As you set and prioritize strategic goals, remember that your strategy should always be evolving. As circumstances and challenges shift, so must your organizational strategy.
If you lead with purpose, a measurable and actionable vision, and an awareness of current events, you can set strategic goals worth striving for.
Do you want to learn more about strategic planning? Explore our online strategy courses and download our free flowchart to determine which is right for you and your goals.
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56 Strategic Objective Examples For Your Company To Copy
Strategic objectives are statements that indicate what is critical or important in your organizational strategy . In other words, they’re goals you’re trying to achieve in a certain period of time—typically 3-5 years. Your objectives link out to your measures and initiatives. Objectives are a key part of your Balanced Scorecard -- along with measures and initiatives.
This list of strategic objective examples should help you think through the various types of objectives that may work best in your organization. You’ll find all 56 of them categorized below by perspective and/or theme. Before we dive into the examples, let’s talk about how to choose the right ones for your organization. Once you have your list of objectives, you may want to consider choosing a software tool to help you track your progress.
Choosing The Strategic Objectives That Work Best For You
Here’s some practical advice based on years of experience: Don’t put 56 objectives in your scorecard—that’s too many. You need to pick and choose. We recommend no more than 15 objectives maximum—you can read more about creating them here. But how do you know which objectives are right for your organization? It depends on your industry and your strategy.
Use this list of objectives to brainstorm what’s most important for your industry and your specific strategy, then build a set of objectives that best represent your organization.
Strategic Goals Based On Your Industry
What business are you in? If you’re operating in a fast-growing industry like IT, technical services, or construction, you should choose objectives that match your growth goals and include movement in a positive direction. For example, those might include launching a new product or increasing gross revenue within the next year. If you’re in a slow-growing industry, like sugar manufacturing or coal-power production, choose company objectives that focus on protecting your assets and managing expenses, such as reducing administrative costs by a certain percentage.
Strategic Goals Based On Your Strategy
What’s your strategy within your industry? Two similar businesses in the same industry can have two very different strategies. Your strategy will determine the objectives you set as much as your industry. (Here are 6 expert tips on strategic planning to consider as you're going through the process.)
To further explain, here’s a business objectives example based on strategy. Think of two financial services companies: Goldman Sachs and E*TRADE. Both handle customer finances and investments, but (generally speaking) Goldman Sachs prioritizes high-touch, personal relationships, while E*TRADE values high-tech, self-service relationships. As a result, the two organizations undoubtedly have distinct objectives. From a marketing perspective, Goldman Sachs might focus on referrals and connections, and E*TRADE on social media and customer service automation. Or from an HR perspective, Goldman Sachs could set objectives based on retention and client relationships, and E*TRADE on technical skills and product development.
Your business could have the same mission and purpose as another, but if it takes a different approach to achieve that purpose, you should have a unique set of strategic objectives.
Strategic Objectives For Municipalities
It’s not uncommon to hear that municipalities or agencies don’t really have a strategy, but that’s a myth. If you look more closely at individual cities, you’ll see that some are growing quickly...and some are not. Cities with strong growth have chosen strategic objectives based on their specific socioeconomic situation. Yes—virtually all municipalities have goals based on balancing the budget and improving safety. But the most successful cities refine those high-level objectives. Does the city-planning portion of the budget need more focus than public utilities? Is street crime or retail crime more of a safety issue? Choosing objectives that function as answers to questions like these is the most strategic (and successful) approach for cities.
It’s also important to note that a municipality’s strategy must be specific to its economy and population, and it must be diverse. Goals cannot all be focused on a single source of revenue, such as tourism or manufacturing. For example, cities along the Gulf Coast have realized that when an oil spill occurs, a reliance on tourism is detrimental. They need a more resilient economy to build a healthy community. In short, municipal objectives should be diverse enough to withstand economic and environmental shifts.
Strategic Objectives For Healthcare
The healthcare industry is constantly changing. However, it’s crucial for healthcare organizations to continue to deliver effective, reliable care even as certain outside factors—medical practices, technology, and government regulations—evolve. So, although healthcare organizations can’t always predict (or control) the future, strategic planning is the best way for them to set a course for excellence while taking into account possible changes that may occur in the years ahead.
Economic trends, government policies, and technological advancements can help provide context for healthcare objectives, but each organization needs to consider what it would like to accomplish strategically. You obviously want great health outcomes, but where do finances fit in? And what about your staff, skills, and technology? For example, you may have an objective to optimize the use of real-time data to improve patient care but also have additional goals to develop a comprehensive employee wellness program or build trust in the community by improving your communications. Safety, quality, patient satisfaction, people, and finance are all areas of significance to consider.
56 Strategic Objective Examples
Below is a handy list of the 56 strategic objective examples; there are detailed definitions in each section.
While you can certainly use these for inspiration, we don’t recommend simply duplicating them for your strategy without putting in some thought. Use this list of objectives to brainstorm what’s most important for your industry and your specific strategy. Then, build a set of objectives that best represents your organization.
Note: Because the below objectives reflect different strategies, we’ve provided a few ideas on how you can customize these examples in each definition.
Financial objectives are typically written as financial goals. When selecting and creating your financial objectives, consider what you’re trying to accomplish financially within the time span of your strategic plan. Examples of strategic goals for this perspective include:
- Grow shareholder value : The top goal of your organization may be to increase the value of your organization for your shareholders, stakeholders, or owners. Value can be defined in many ways, so this would need to be clearly defined.
- Grow earnings per share : This objective implies your organization is trying to increase its earnings or profits. For publicly traded companies, a common way to look at this is through “earnings per share.” This can be measured quarterly and/or annually.
- Increase revenue : Revenue represents growth in your organization, so increasing revenue is a sign of company health. You can make this more specific by defining revenue from a key area in your organization.
- Manage cost : On the other side of revenue is the costs or expenses in your business. As you grow (or shrink) you need to carefully manage cost—so this may be an important objective for you.
- Maintain appropriate financial leverage : Many organizations use debt—another word for financial leverage—as a key financial tool. There may be an optimal amount of debt you’d like to stay within.
- Ensure favorable bond ratings : For some organizations, bond ratings are a sign of healthy finances. This is a regularly occurring objective for a public sector scorecard.
- Balance the budget : A balanced budget reflects the discipline of good planning, budgeting, and management. It is also one that is typically seen in the public sector—or within divisions or departments of other organizations.
- Ensure financial sustainability : If your organization is in growth mode or has an uncertain economic environment, you need to be sure you remain financially stable. Sometimes this means seeking outside sources of revenue or managing costs that are appropriate to your operations.
- Maintain profitability : This is a solid top-level objective that shows balance between revenue and expenses. If your organization is investing in order to grow, you may look to an objective like this to govern how much you are able to invest.
- Diversify and grow revenue streams : Some organizations receive revenue from multiple sources or products and services. They set an objective to grow revenue in different areas to ensure that the organization is stable and not subject to risk associated with only one revenue stream.
While all of the above objectives are valuable for maintaining a stable financial base for your organization, the most obvious strategic levers are:
- Increase revenue
- Manage costs
- Maintain profitability
However, other objectives may be more applicable, particularly if your organization is not driven by the need to be profitable but simply looking to improve its financial position. Consider your needs carefully; do you want to become more financially self-sufficient or maybe maximize your resources? These motivations should drive the financial objectives you choose.
When looking at examples of a business’s customer objectives, you’ll see they are typically written like customer goals. Sometimes they are written in the form of a phrase or a statement that a customer would say when talking about your product or service.
- Best value for the cost : This means that your customers know they are not purchasing the most expensive product or service—or even the highest quality—but that they are getting the best deal . This may mean your customers are paying less than average and getting an average or above-average product.
- Broad product offering : This objective works if your strategy is to be able to offer the customer the best product in its class, regardless of price. In the hotel industry, for example, this could reflect the strategy of the Four Seasons or Ritz Carlton.
- Reliable products/services : If your organization takes pride in the reliability of your product or service, this objective—which reflects that you are targeting customers that also value this reliability—may be right for you. This could indicate the on-time reliability of an airline or the dependable reliability of a printer that generates high-quality output.
- Cross-sell more products : Some organizations—like banks or office product companies—focus on selling more products to the same customers. This strategy acknowledges that you already have the customer but can make money by selling them more.
- Increase share of market : This customer strategy focuses on selling to more customers, thus increasing the market share. For example, if your organization is a landscape company, you are likely trying to reach more households—or if your organization is a hospital, you likely want more of the local population to use your services.
- Increase share of wallet : This customer strategy focuses on gaining more purchases from the same customers. If you sell fertilizer, for example, you want each customer to purchase a larger percentage of their fertilizer spend with your organization rather than with your competitors.
- Partner with customers to provide solutions : This strategy reflects customer intimacy. As part of this strategy, you may deliver service-oriented solutions or have customers participate in research and development with your organization. Partnering comes at a cost but tends to foster more customer loyalty across your organization.
- Best service : This strategy indicates you want your customers to consider your organization easy to deal with. Customers may choose to work with you even if you have a product similar to your competitors—simply because your service is better.
- Understands my needs : This objective also reflects a customer intimacy strategy. The customer feels like you understand their needs, so they choose your organization's products and services because they are targeted for their specific problem or situation.
These three objectives indicate the most basic needs customers want an organization to fulfill:
- Reliable products/services
- Partner with customers to provide solutions
- Best value for cost
However, you have to understand your own customers in order to make them happy. So, to choose your customer objectives, think about what your customers are looking for specifically and set your objectives accordingly.
The internal perspective is typically focused on processes that your organization must excel at. According to Michael Treacy and Fred Wiersema— who have written extensively on the topic —these examples of business strategy processes can be divided into three areas: innovation, customer intimacy, and operational excellence.
- Most innovative products/services : This objective is for organizations that pride themselves on constant and cutting-edge innovation. You would first need to define what you mean by “innovation” and how you’re innovating in each particular area.
- Differentiate the product : Your organization might use this objective if you are in an environment where the customer cannot tell the difference between your organization and another organization’s product. You are asking your organization to either develop new services around the product or new differentiating features of the product or service.
- Invest a certain amount in innovation : Sometimes organizations use an objective like this to drive investment in research and development or other innovative activities. This objective may be used in a strategy when you are signaling a shift in investments in the innovation category.
- Grow percentage of sales from new products : Similar to investing in innovation, this objective focuses on the outcome your organization is hoping to achieve. It forces you to constantly innovate, even on your most successful products.
- Improve or focus research and development (R&D) : This objective focuses on specific innovation. If you are an organization with multiple product lines, you might want to focus your innovation on one product line over another; calling out the specific direction can be quite helpful in your objective.
- Acquire new customers from innovative offerings : This objective focuses on the reason you put focus on innovation. For example, you may be innovating in order to enter a new market or attract customers you might not be able to reach with your current offerings.
All of the objectives from the above list help measure innovation in a general sense. However, there are countless ways to innovate; your objectives should reflect your specific approach. Maybe you’re trying to hit a performance target with your product or improve the quality of a particular product or service, for example. Express your desired innovation goal in whatever way is best for you.
- Great customer service : Defining what great customer service means in your organization is a way to set the standard and communicate internally. For example, hone in on whether you want to provide one-touch resolution or proactive support, or whether you’re focused on phone support or on-site support.
- Improve customer service : When your organization has a problem with good customer service, you may want an objective to focus on improvement therein. The problem your company has is likely in a specific area, so this objective should be focused on that particular call center or the reactive support that you provide.
- Invest in customer management : This objective is typically used when your strategy is to focus more on your customer management processes than you have in the past.
- Partner with customers to design solutions : Some organizations focus on forming close partnerships with their clients. If your business is an architectural firm or a custom software developer company, this could be a good objective to ensure you are working with your customers to design critical solutions.
- Improve customer satisfaction : If customer satisfaction is critical in your company, this may be a good objective to hone in on. Because it’s generic, the definition for your organization needs to be more focused around particular areas of satisfaction you place focus on.
- Improve customer retention : If your organization wants to focus on retaining current customers, this objective may work for you. You’d likely want to set measures and projects around certain activities to help retain customers.
- Develop and use a customer database : This is a specific objective focused on implementing a large project like a customer relationship management (CRM) system, that could take years to implement.
Creating customer service objectives is a way to ensure your organization continuously maintains focus on this crucial area. In addition to the objectives listed above, consider which aspects of customer service are most relevant to your organization. You may want to improve your customer chat functionality, or, if you sell a software product, improve your customer onboarding process. The smoother your internal processes, the happier your customers.
- Reduce cost by a certain amount annually : This objective focuses on reducing costs—typically costs within a product or service that is an offering (to make that particular product or service more effective). It could also focus on reducing overhead costs across your organization.
- Reduce waste by a certain amount : If your organization uses a lot of raw materials, a typical objective is to reduce waste from that process. This usually results in significant cost savings.
- Invest in Total Quality Management : Total Quality Management (TQM) reflects a process around quality improvement, which can mean doing things more efficiently or effectively. This objective is used in organizations that have implemented (or are implementing) TQM.
- Reduce error rates : This objective applies for organizations that have many repeatable processes. Sometimes this results in Six Sigma projects, and other times the result is just a focus on defining processes so that staff can adhere to these processes.
- Improve and maintain workplace safety : If your organization uses heavy equipment, chemicals, mechanical parts, or machinery, focusing on workplace safety is a good objective. Improving it can reduce costs and improve job satisfaction.
- Reduce energy usage per unit of production : If your organization uses a significant amount of energy, making a goal to reduce this can be an effective and important strategy.
- Capitalize on physical facilities : In retail organizations, this could mean focusing on an appropriate storefront location. Or it could mean finding underutilized assets and either using them or selling/leasing them to others for use.
- Streamline core business processes : Many complex organizations have very long, drawn-out processes that have developed over many years. If your organization is looking at these processes, this could be a key objective for you.
- Increase reliability of operations : If your organization has poor reliability, having an objective like this will encourage management to look at investments and changes in processes that could increase this reliability.
Sometimes, objectives for operational excellence can be too vague, referring to “excellent” or “world-class” processes or “high-performing” teams. All of the above goals are specific and tied to various aspects of performance. And while you might be tempted to skip over operational excellence goals altogether, it’s important to invest time and resources in this area! Efficiency and cost-effectiveness are key to staying competitive, and achieving these objectives can have a positive impact on your company’s growth.
- Ensure compliance : In a regulated environment, there may be a lot of rules that you need to follow, even if they don’t seem strategic. They are often called “strategic objectives” to ensure no one cuts corners.
- Increase recycling : This is a self-explanatory objective, but can sometimes apply to all aspects of waste. Depending on the organization, there are compliance rules around making this happen.
- Improve reporting and transparency : Organizations just entering a regulatory environment or that are trying to change their business model to meet contract needs may find that they need to improve or change the way they report in order to do better cost accounting or just be more clear about their actions.
- Increase community outreach : For some organizations, it is important to be seen as part of the community. This is especially true for organizations that are either selling a necessity in the community or are creating any kind of negative externality (like pollution).
- Optimize control framework : If you’re a regulated organization in an incentive environment, you may need to make sure you have the proper controls in place to avoid one-off or systematic cheating.
If your organization is part of an industry where regulations apply, creating regulatory-related objectives not only helps you stay in compliance but can also help you grow. (Finding a better way to stay informed about new regulations could be an objective itself!) Goals in this area could apply to anything from increasing accountability to implementing risk management plans to streamlining compliance processes.
Learning & Growth (L&G) Objectives
Learning and growth objectives focus on skills, culture, and organizational capacity.
- Improve technical and analytical skills : With the increasing advance of computers and technical innovations affecting all industries, this is a common objective for some organizations. Specific technical skills—or a more specific definition—may be included in the objective name.
- Improve a certain skill : This is seen in a goal if an organization is either affected by a new competitive environment or is trying to address a new market. The particular skill would be specific to the organization. This is also seen in organizations with an aging workforce without a clear means to replace highly technical skills.
- Create a performance-focused culture : This objective can be used if your organization is trying to change its culture to one that focuses more on performance management or incentives. This objective shows up a lot in government and nonprofit organizations.
- Improve productivity with cross-functional teams : Large companies see synergies from working together but want to encourage staff to help with this. For example, a bank with multiple products or a multinational company with multiple lines of business may use this objective.
- Invest in tools to make staff more productive : If your organization has the right staff, but the staff does not have the right tools for the job, this may be a critical objective.
- Improve employee retention : This objective is common in learning and growth and may focus on skills, culture, pay, and the overall work environment.
- Attract and retain the best people : This is a good “beginner objective” if your organization is just starting to use the Balanced Scorecard. Ultimately, you’ll need a good plan regarding who you need to hire, how many hires you need, and what the biggest challenges with regard to retention are. You can then become more specific in this objective by addressing those challenges.
- Build high-performing teams : If teamwork is critical in your organization, consider this objective. It can be hard to measure, so you should think about whether you are encouraging teams or mandating teamwork .
- Maintain alignment across the organization : Some companies demand an extensive amount of alignment across the organization, which can be seen through having common objectives or common incentive programs where alignment is important.
- Develop leadership abilities and potential of the team : Many organizations realize that they are good at hiring people but not developing them into good leaders. If this is something your company wants to change, this objective is important.
Learning and growth objectives support the employees responsible for carrying out your strategy, which makes this category of objectives extremely valuable. Classic objectives in this area are:
- Improve skills
- Improve productivity with cross-functional teams
- Attract and retain the best people
However, to make the most of these goals, first, take time to evaluate the specific capabilities required to deliver exceptional performance in your organization. Doing so will help you formulate more specific goals that will give your team the capabilities it needs to support your company’s growth—and improve employee satisfaction at the same time.
If you have questions about which of these strategic objective examples may work for you, drop us a line. We’re happy to help.
Ted is a Founder and Managing Partner of ClearPoint Strategy and leads the sales and marketing teams.
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Strategic Goal Examples for Use in Your Strategic Plan and Balanced Scorecard
By Anthony Taylor - June 17, 2016
SME Strategy is a strategy consulting firm that specializes in helping organizations align their teams and operations around a shared vision, mission, values, goals, and action plans. Our strategic planning services offer guidance on how a strategic planning facilitator can provide support in constructing an effective strategic plan that ensures your strategy is communicated and implemented across your entire organization.
As it has been famously said by management guru Peter Drucker: "What gets measured gets managed". Some important questions for you to consider include:
- How do you figure out what you need to measure and manage?
- How do you decide which KPIs you want to track?
What you need to track largely depends on where you are trying to go, and t hat's why doing the strategic planning process in its entirety is so important.
You can create endless examples of strategic goals, but if they don't align with where you're going or with your strategic priorities , then you're going to be wasting your time, energy and resources. You need to be focusing on the goals that will move the needle on your mission or vision.
A non-exhaustive list of strategic goal examples and KPI examples:
If you use the Balanced Score Card in your organization (you should), then below you'll find sample "objectives" or strategic priorities. For each objective or strategic goal, you must have an accompanying measurement.
A rule of thumb for measurement is going from X (current state) to Y (desired future state) by date - Set a deadline for achieving your specified strategic goal.
For example, if one of your strategic priorities is to "Enter new markets", t hen you can use these different sample strategic goals to measure your progress:
- Enter X, Y, Z markets by date.
- 20 total regional markets by date.
- 20% market share in each new market by date.
They all technically fall under "Enter new markets", but they all have different measurements that will affect how you chose to implement your strategy.
You can sort the priorities themselves under whichever category makes sense to you. What matters is that you measure the progress and set targets.
Examples of strategic goals for finance:
- Create and launch a new product(s)
- Increase customer conversion
- Become market leader
- Sales: Company’s sales growth/Market sales Growth -> must be >1
- Customer satisfaction
- Gain market position
- Explore new customer segments
- Increase revenues
- Attract investment
- Return on Assets
- Shareholders dividend
- Diversified revenue streams
- Number of products in portfolio (BCG matrix)
We can help you align your team around a clear vision, mission, values, goals and action plans,
s o you can lead your organization more effectively and get better results.
Examples of strategic goals for learning and growth:
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- Number of Online and in-person team updates
- Number of Reporting tools
- Number of internal newsletters a week
- Communication skills training programs
- Surveying your teams (monthly survey?)
- Build on momentum
- Implement performance review and reward system
- Build cultur e and align across the organization
- Open new locations
- Number of locations per city/region/country
- Going international
- Percentage of sales abroad/local
- Number of exported products
- Create and implement a training program
- Decrease employee turnover
- Improve employee satisfaction (Employee Engagement)
- Employee Net Promoter Score : eNPS = (promoters-detractors)/total respondents
- Balance employee utilization rate
- Improve training programs
Examples of strategic goals for customers:
- Improve customer satisfaction
- Decrease the number of product returns
- Increase net promoter score
- % of defaults on products
- Response time to complaints
- Number of followers/likes on social media
- Number of returning customers
- Improve our service approach for new and existing customers.
- Strategic partnerships
- Create impact measurement
- Customer Delivery time
- Increase in new customers
Examples of potential areas to develop strategic goals for business processes:
- Increase web traffic
- Number of publications
- Number of backlinks
- Vendor performance
- Restructure organization
- Implement software project
- Grow through acquisition
- Increase the value of projects and manage growth
- Lower production costs
- Build capacity for the future
- Decrease defects
- Improve supplier relationships
- Increase team size
- Find new volunteers
- Launch and complete special projects
- Per unit costs
- Per unit yield
- R&D development time
- Improve resource allocation
- Reduce financial waste
SMART Goals with Measurements and KPIs:
- Increase revenue per transaction: from X to Y by DATE
- Increase total revenue per customer: from X to Y by DATE
- Increase frequency of transactions: from X to Y by DATE
- Improve daily production from X to Y by DATE
- Enter X, Y, Z markets by Date
- 20% market share in each new market.
- Acquire 2 companies with at least 5 million dollars in revenue by date.
- Reduce accounts receivable from 60 to 45 days within 6 months.
- Reduce customer wait times from 10 minutes to 5 minutes within 12 months.
- Increase the number of prospects in the pipeline from 100 to 200 in 6 weeks.
And so on...
Those are just a few strategic goal examples that you can use when outlining your strategic priorities and building your strategic plan.
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What Is a Strategic Goal?
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A strategic goal is a long-term, “big picture” objective for a business, rather than a short-term tactic that addresses a current problem or challenge. Strategies help the business improve the way it operates and set new goals, as opposed to goals that simply improve or fix what the company is already doing.
Business strategy is the identification and creation of plans that will help achieve macro goals such as increased profitability, expansion, diversification, debt reduction, risk management, increased employee retention or a reduction in taxes. The strategy starts with the end goal and initially doesn’t define the tactics, or ways in which the goals will be achieved.
Strategy vs. Tactics
Strategies require tactics to make them succeed. For example, you might set an overall goal of reducing product returns. Your tactics might include surveying customers, improving your machinery, adding a quality control person in your production department and improving your shipping methods. An older restaurant might have limited growth potential because it’s in a small town, and most people are already aware of the eatery. The owner might decide on a strategy of increasing revenues through expansion or diversification. The tactics he would use might include opening a second restaurant with a different theme, starting a catering business, offering delivery service or conducting cooking classes.
- More Business: Tactics vs. Strategy Business Planning
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Sam Ashe-Edmunds has been writing and lecturing for decades. He has worked in the corporate and nonprofit arenas as a C-Suite executive, serving on several nonprofit boards. He is an internationally traveled sport science writer and lecturer. He has been published in print publications such as Entrepreneur, Tennis, SI for Kids, Chicago Tribune, Sacramento Bee, and on websites such Smart-Healthy-Living.net, SmartyCents and Youthletic. Edmunds has a bachelor's degree in journalism.
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How to set strategic goals (with 73 examples you can steal)
March 23, 2022
As a project manager, setting strategic goals for your team is an absolute must. By establishing objectives, you can ensure everyone (including yourself) is productive and moving in the right direction. It also means you can track progress and make real-time adjustments — which is incredibly difficult to do without clear metrics . In fact, without measurable goals, it’s near impossible to determine whether initiatives are working or not.
But what should these goals be?
What are strategic goals?
A strategic goal is a broad, long-term objective that a company strives to achieve. It can be something as general as becoming the top player in your industry or as specific as increasing market share by 20%.
There are different types of strategic goals (which we’ll explore in a little more detail later on), and each goal will involve metrics — the criteria you’ll use to measure progress.
Why are performance metrics important?
Metrics are important because they provide concrete evidence of whether a goal is being achieved. Without metrics, it can be difficult to determine whether things are working and how well. Metrics also help to identify areas of improvement and allow for targeted action.
Here are some common strategic goals metrics:
- Revenue growth : this metric measures how much revenue the company generates over some time. You can break it down by product, market, or other factors.
- Gross margin : this measures how much profit the company earns on each dollar of revenue. Gross margins are useful for tracking product profitability or comparing performance against competitors.
- Customer churn : churn refers to how many customers leave the company over a given period. It can identify areas of improvement and indicate which aspects of a service or product are driving away customers.
- Employee turnover : the opposite of retention, turnover measures how many employees leave the company over a given period. A high turnover rate often indicates that the company needs to improve its employee retention strategy or benefits package.
- Social media followers : this metric measures how many people follow your company on various social media platforms. Follower numbers help you determine the strength of the company’s brand awareness or engagement levels.
- Website visits : this metric shows how many people visit your company website over time. You can use this data to track the company’s online visibility or marketing efforts.
- Product launch success : this metric measures the success of a product release. You can use factors such as sales, customer feedback, and market share to understand product launch success clearly.
Strategic goals vs. strategic management: what’s the difference?
While both strategic goals and strategic management are important, they’re not the same thing.
- Strategic goals are the objectives a company aims to achieve.
- Strategic management is the process of setting and accomplishing those goals.
Think of strategic goals as the long-term outcome you envision — the things you want to achieve in three to five years. To achieve your goals, you need a well-defined process for developing and monitoring them. That’s where strategic management comes in.
Strategic goals vs. OKRs: what’s the difference?
OKRs (Objectives and Key Results) are a popular framework for setting strategic goals. But there are some key differences between OKRs and strategic goals.
Firstly, OKRs are typically shorter-term compared to strategic goals. Secondly, OKRs are more specific and quantitative, while strategic goals are broader and qualitative. Thirdly, OKRs are often used in performance-driven organizations, while strategic goals can be used in any organization.
Strategic goals vs. KPIs: what’s the difference?
KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) are a popular framework for measuring performance. Here’s where they differ from strategic goals.
KPIs are usually more narrow in scope than strategic goals. And while KPIs are highly specific and quantitative, strategic goals are more broad and qualitative. Also, KPIs are best suited for measuring operational performance , while strategic goals are better for measuring business performance overall.
Strategic goals vs. business goals:
There are some key similarities between strategic goals and business goals. Both are important for driving organizational success and must be measurable and achievable to offer the most value. But here’s where they differ:
- Strategic goals focus on long-term growth or performance, while business goals are more immediate targets you must hit to achieve bigger objectives.
- Business goals tend to be specific and quantitative, while strategic goals have a broader and more aspirational focus.
- Strategic goals encourage you to take a comprehensive approach to achieve organizational success. Business goals are more modular and focus on improving performance in individual business units or departments.
Which framework is right for your company?
There is no one-size-fits-all answer to this question. The right goal-setting framework depends on your company’s size, culture, and industry. If unsure which model is right, speak with a business advisor or consultant for guidance. They can help you understand which operational factors impact your organization and choose a framework to drive progress.
How to set strategic goals
Now that we’ve covered some differences between strategic goals and other popular frameworks, let’s take a closer look at how to set effective strategic goals.
1. Start with the big picture
Start by thinking about the overall vision and mission of your company. What are you trying to achieve? Where do you want to be in three to five years? Once you have a general idea of where you want to go, you can start thinking about specific goals to help you get there.
2. Make them SMART
All goals should be SMART : that’s Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound. Your goals must be specific enough to be quantified and measured, achievable (not too easy or too difficult), and relevant to the company’s overall vision and mission. They should also have a specific timeframe for completion.
3. Communicate your goals to all employees
Make sure to communicate your goals to all employees, not just management. Employees need to understand what the company’s trying to accomplish and their role in achieving those objectives.
4. Hold everyone accountable
Holding employees accountable for meeting their goals is important to success. Use a system of rewards and penalties to motivate employees to stay on track.
5. Evaluate progress, and make changes as needed
Regularly evaluating progress is essential for managing the pace and success of your goals. If necessary, make changes based on what you learn from one milestone to the next.
Now, let’s get to some real-world examples.
73 strategic goal examples
We’ve split this list by goal type to make it easier to follow. Please note: the examples do not reflect Nulab’s goals; they’re here for educational purposes.
Strategic goals for finance
1) Increase revenue by 20% in the next three years 2) Reduce costs by 15% in the next 12 months 3) Invest in new technology that will improve our overall efficiency 4) Increase our market share by 5% in the next two years 5) Create a new product that will generate $1 million in revenue in the next 12 months 6) Diversify our revenue streams into two new markets 7) Become financially sustainable by 2023 8) Grow shareholder value by 20% in the next two years 9) Reduce marketing costs by 10% over the next year
Strategic goals for marketing
10) Increase website traffic by 25% in the next three months 11) Generate 1,000 leads through our website in the next six months 12) Double our social media following in the next six months 13) Increase customer satisfaction by five points in the next year 14) Increase brand awareness by 25% in the next year 15) Launch a new marketing campaign that generates a 10% ROI 16) Reach 10,000 people through our email list in the next six months 17) Secure two major partnerships in the next 12 months 18) Attend three industry tradeshows in the next year
Strategic goals for R&D
19) Develop a new product that will be in the market in 12 months 20) Patent our new technology by the end of the year 21) Increase our R&D budget by 15% in the next year 22) Hire two new senior scientists in the next six months 23) Double our current market share in the next three years 24) Develop a product that is fives times more efficient than our current products 25) Reduce the time to market for new products by 50% in the next year 26) Increase our customer base by 20% in the next year 27) Collaborate with two other companies in the next year
Strategic goals for employee productivity
28) Increase average billable hours per employee by 20% in the next three months 29) Streamline our billing process so that it takes employees less time to bill clients 30) Reduce customer support inquiries by 20% in the next month 31) Improve team productivity by 10% in the next three months 32) Implement a new CRM system that will make it easier for employees to find customer information 33) Create a training program for new employees that will shorten the learning curve 34) Hire two new customer service representatives in the next month 35) Allow employees to work from home one day a week 36) Give employees a 5% raise in the next three months
Strategic goals for innovation
37) Develop a new product that will be in the market in 12 months 38) Patent our new technology by the end of the year 39) Increase our R&D budget by 15% in the next year 40) Hire two new senior product designers in the next six months 41) Double our current market share in the next three years 42) Develop a product that is five times more efficient than our current products 43) Reduce the time to market for new products by 50% in the next year 44) Increase our customer base by 20% in the next year 45) Collaborate with two other companies in the next year
Customer-focused strategic goals
46) Increase customer satisfaction by five points in the next year 47) Decrease website bounce rate by 25% in the next three months 48) Generate 1,000 customer product reviews in the next six months 49) Secure a rating of 75% five-star reviews on Tripadvisor by the end of the quarter 50) Reduce refund time by one week by the end of next quarter 51) Host two focus groups in December to get feedback about the new product 52) Reduce customer call time wait by an average of three minutes in the next two months 53) Secure two major influencer partnerships in the next 12 months 54) Increase newsletter subscriptions by 20% by the end of 2022
Strategic goals for internal improvement
55) Increase average billable hours per employee by 20% in the next three months 56) Develop and implement new company core values by December 2023 57) Reduce staff turnover by 25% in the next six months 58) Increase employee satisfaction by 10% in the next six months 59) Implement a new training program for new employees 60) Give employees a raise of 5% in the next three months 61) Hire two new customer service representatives in the next month 62) Allow employees to work from home one day a week 63) Reduce the time it takes to process invoices by 50% in the next month 64) Implement new software that will improve team communication
Strategic goals to promote growth
65) Secure a new office space that is twice the size of our current one 66) Implement a new sales strategy that generates a 20% increase in sales in the next six months 67) Increase our customer base by 20% in the next year 68) Double our market share in the next three years 69) Collaborate with two other companies in the next year 70) Launch a new marketing campaign that generates a 10% ROI 71) Reach 10,000 people through our email list in the next six months 72) Secure two major partnerships in the next 12 months 73) Invest in a new advertising campaign
Developing effective strategic goals is essential for any business, regardless of size or industry. By setting measurable, achievable objectives, you can ensure your company is moving fully ahead in the right direction and achieving its long-term goals.
As your organization or team grows and changes, choose tools that make collaborating and tracking your goal metrics as convenient as possible. By doing so, you’ll be able to work together as a team toward the success you and your business deserve.
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65 example strategic metrics and goals · 1. Increasing revenue · 2. Attaining or maintaining profitability · 3. Growing shareholder value · 4.
Strategic goals are the specific financial and non-financial objectives and results a company aims to achieve over a specific period of time
While strategic goals are the long-term objectives of your organization, operational goals are the daily milestones that need to be reached to
Strategic objectives are statements that indicate what is critical or important in your organizational strategy. In other words, they're goals you're trying to
Create and launch a new product(s) · Increase customer conversion · Become market leader · Sales: Company's sales growth/Market sales Growth ->
A strategic business plan is necessary to optimize market research and to attain optimum market share for your business. The plan allows businesses to focus on
A strategic goal is a long-term, “big picture” objective for a business, rather than a short-term tactic that addresses a current problem or challenge.
Objectives goals · Increasing shareholder value by the next quarter · Lowering production costs by the next year · Balancing the company budget
Strategic objectives are purpose statements that help create an overall vision and set goals and measurable steps for an organization to help
A strategic goal is a broad, long-term objective that a company strives to achieve. It can be something as general as becoming the top player in