Goals

Goals are broad statements of what the organization hopes to achieve and are qualitative in nature. Although your organization can have short-term and long-term goals, it is important that each goal is clear and can be supported by measurable objectives. Goals should drive your strategic planning preparation.

Very often, goals give further definition to the organization’s vision. If the vision is to become the market leader, then the goals might focus on establishing a solid reputation in the areas of quality, satisfaction, and financial performance.

At the very least, goals should accomplish one of two things – or both: 1) they should fulfill the mission, and 2) they should achieve the vision. In addition, goals supported by measurable objectives become self-fulfilling. What’s more, strategic plans with four to seven over-arching goals to be achieved within three to five years are the most efficient to manage.

It is not uncommon for goals to be unquantifiable, nor do they need to be. That is the job for the objectives. If your goals are broad, far-reaching ideas that are not measurable, that’s okay. You will identify metrics for each of them when you create objectives. In fact, more often than not, goals state the long-term vision of the organization and generally span several years. Your annual strategic plan, however, breaks those long-term goals down into manageable 12-month objectives.

If you have goals that are specific as to how much by when, that’s okay, too. You’ll break those long-term targets down into shorter, interim targets once you tackle objectives.

Examples

Healthcare

  • Be known as the safest hospital in America
  • Be the market leader in clinical outcomes
  • Be the preferred hospital in the region

Commercial

  • Be the No. 1 employer in the region
  • Be the dominant provider of services in our market
  • Be known as the high-quality leader

Education

  • Be the preferred university in the Southeast
  • Be a national leader in graduation statistics
  • Be known as a top-tier research university
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