If you don't know where the goal is...

This is our third post as part of our strategy series. You can find the first, Strategy vs Tactics here and the second on Audiences here.


Lewis Carroll said, "if you don't know where you're going, any road will get you there." Where "there" is would be anyone's guess. This might be fun, if you're up for an adventure, but if you're trying to run a successful business or organization, it's a recipe for chasing down a lot of dead ends - or running off the road entirely.

That's why knowing what you want to achieve is so important.

A goal is a long-term proposition. It's a step in achieving your vision - that aspirational dream of success. Examples of vision are:

  • Microsoft: A computer on every desk and in every home. 
  • Wikipedia: A world in which every single person is given free access to the sum of all human knowledge.
  • Oxfam: A world without poverty.
  • Habitat for Humanity: A world where everyone has a decent place to live.
[Side note: Vision is often confused with mission although these are two very different things. Just Google it and you'll see what I mean. Vision is the aspirational and is written in the present tense. Mission is how the vision is achieved and for whom.]

If you were Oxfam, your total focus would be on activities that would reduce poverty. Goals might include actions such as: identify root causes of poverty; create action plans to address root causes of poverty; create an awareness campaign to gain international support of Oxfam programs; etc.

What you may notice is that each goal has a verb and is focused on the vision. (You may also notice that they lack a measurable outcomes. That's where objectives come in. We'll discuss objectives in another post so don't worry about that for the moment.)

So vision is verrrrrry long-term but will change over time. Goals are the actions needed to achieve the vision and are long term (think of one- to five-year terms).

What is your dream (vision)? How will you get there? What are you going to do this year and over the coming years to help you get closer to achieving your dream (goals)?

Write them down.

Now you've got your big picture and it's time to plan.

Creating business goals follows the same process as creating communication goals. Communication would be in service of the business. It is a powerful tool to achieve those goals and is usually a key business strategy.

Have you set out your business goals for the short- or long-term? Do you have any tips to share on how you do this? How often do you re-visit your goals to see if they need updating?

Till next time,



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