Strategic Goals and Plans

Strategic goals (sometimes called official goals) are broad statements describing where the organization wants to be in the future. They pertain to the organization as a whole rather than to specify divisions or departments.

SamsungOpens in new window, for example, set a new strategic goal to become a quality-based company rather than a quantity-based company.

The shift in strategic direction, with its focus on creativity and innovation rather than making inexpensive knock-off products, has led to amazing results. Samsung is now a leader in the electronics industry, competing head-to-head with Apple in the smartphone market.

Several management scholars have suggested that business organizations’ goals must encompass more than profits, and that businesses actually suffer when profit and shareholder value become the primary goals. Peter Drucker suggests that organizations focus on eight content areas in developing goals:

  1. market standing,
  2. innovation,
  3. productivity,
  4. physical and financial resources,
  5. profitability,
  6. managerial performance and development,
  7. worker performance and attitude, and
  8. public responsibility.

Strategic plans define the action steps by which the organization intends to attain strategic goals.

The strategic plan is the blueprint that defines the organizational activities and resource allocations — in the form of cash, personnel, space, time and facilities — required for meeting these targets.

Strategic planning tends to be long term, and may define organizational action steps for between two and five years, and in some infrastructure-heavy organizations, such as airports and utilities, as long as 20 years. The purpose of strategic plans is to turn organizational goals into realities within that period.

At UnileverOpens in new window, CEO Paul Polman set a strategic goal of doubling the company’s revenues by the year 2020. ‘Our business is not rocket science,’ said Paul Polman, the first-ever outsider to lead Unilever. It’s about being a little bit better every day.’

A part of Polman’s strategic plan is to move UnileverOpens in new window into the higher-end personal care market. His initial goal was to send 80 per cent of product development employees into the field to see what upscale customers want and to work closely with suppliers, who Polman says now contribute seven of 10 new product ideas — improving Unilever’s ability to reach its goals.

    Research data for this work have been adapted from the manual:
  1. Fundamentals of Management ... By Danny Samson, Richard L Daft, Timothy Donnet.