Business Strategy

How to Define Your Strategic Objective

Your strategic objective is a clear vision of your business; it is a one-page written statement of what your business will be when it is complete.

Why do you need to define your strategic objective?

  • To provide a sense of direction and goals for your business – a target for the future
  • To motivate you and your team members around a realistic dream to strive for
  • To provide a basis for decision making, planning, and business development

What if you do not know all the answers? What if your company and its market changes so quickly that any strategy efforts are questionable?

Remember that no company has all of the answers to every possible market place scenario. However, having a pragmatic view of tomorrow and planning how you will get there is never a waste of your time.

I will state up front that I am a consulting radical. I do not like mission and vision statements that have no basis in reality. All too often employees and customers become cynical when they see a huge gap between what the company says it is and how it actually acts. Your strategic objective is very different – it is not a mission statement but rather a statement of the end point of the business. The point where you could walk away from the business completely happy and totally satisfied that you had done everything that you wanted with the business.

A company’s strategic objective should be a simple, clear picture of the company’s future. It should serve your primary aim; otherwise the business will become your life – not just an expression of the life that you want to create.

Here are two practical steps for drafting your strategic objective:

  1. Conduct an off-site session with your team

Get away from the every day business activities and devote focused time to building a shared vision of your business. Give your team homework on critical questions such as: What lines of business, products, and services will we offer? What will be unique about our business? Who will value our uniqueness most – customers, employees, or suppliers? What will the company’s size and growth objectives be?

  1. Draft, refine, and finalize your strategic objective:

Assign someone to own the drafting of your strategic objective. Share the draft with as many team members, customers, and suppliers as possible.

Once drafted, test, refine, and finalize your strategic objective by asking the following questions:

How realistic and achievable is it? How far off are we now from where we want to be? What barriers are in our way and how can we address them? Who will be accountable for each part?

If you apply these practical steps, you will be well on your way to creating the type of business you really want.



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