What are Strategic Goals?
Strategic goals are the significant planned objectives that a company aims to achieve. Clearly, these also include Objectives and Key Results (OKRs), a system to measure company's aim for success over a long, or short period of time. This property of OKR enables companies to progress more systematically. However, before using OKR to achieve your goals, you should really understand what a strategic goal is. Let's paraphrase this into a question: how does a strategic goal effect a company's future in a different manner?
Understanding the Necessity of Strategic Goals
A lot of great ideas lack great plans. Without a clear plan we may waste a lot of resources and energy on profitless and unsuccessful projects. To manage a successful company one has to take a different approach. This is where strategic goals come in. That is to say, strategic goals come from the real world and depend on measurable parameters and real needs. All of these features exactly match a company's charge for growth.
Main Features of Strategic Goals
Generally, strategic goals have some unique properties. Primarily, they drive priority setting. This phenomenon takes place while setting goals. Setting goals allows you to control the progress of your business. It helps you to determine your focus and direction. This way you may ensure resource allocation and clearly understand the capability requirements, which also allows for a much more streamlined budgeting process.
They dominate from the smallest part of a company to the whole. They ensure that individuals and teams are focused on the same goal. They communicate your aim to all employees in the company, helping to align their efforts.
Moreover, the most impressive property of strategic goals is better, wiser planning. There may be hard debates on the plans, and every process leader contributes to them. Thus, plans become more systematic and ready for a more diverse set of challenges.
A Deep Glance at the Subject: Hard Goals vs Soft Goals
There is a useful dichotomy which is an accepted approach all around the World. The dichotomy is "Hard Goals vs Soft Goals". This is a very valuable analysis to improve your strategic goals. Thanks to this approach you may spot more relevant goals, which leads to creating better OKRs.
Hard Goals are the ones which are only measurable, and numerical, such as growing number of clients by 15% per year, introducing five new products per year, etc. They are almost the same as Key Results. Therefore, they directly affect a company's growth. Consequently, hard goals are the main first-hand tool for us. Without hard goals there is not even a skeleton! So, hard goals are crucial.
However, Soft Goals are not measurable, and they are more like naming the problem. Shortly, soft goals are almost the same as Objectives. Encouraging ethical, and respectful behavior, and becoming a leader in product innovation are good examples of Soft Goals. Thus, they are not directly bound by company's growth. But, soft goals are first steps to take on the path of positive, organic growth.