Having goals, objectives, and strategies are great, but knowing how they all work together (if in fact they do) and if you need them all is another story. We suggest ignoring the semantics and focusing on establishing a time frame. What matters is having a combination of long-term and short-term markers to keep your organization moving in the right direction.
Think of the following hierarchy to demystify the terms of your priorities:
- Core values: Your guiding principles that rarely change and that you stick to no matter what vision you’re pursuing.
- Mission: The underlying purpose why you’re in business in the first place.
- Vision: The big, hairy, bold goal you’re headed for, and the concept that everything your company does is focused on.
- Strategy: The guiding statement that explains how you get to your vision.
- Three-year strategic objectives: Intermediate goals that are broad and continuous, that you achieve on the way to your vision, and that explain the activities oyu need to be in to achieve your vision.
- One-year SMART goals: One-year markers that support your long-term strategic objectives.
- Action Items: Items that explain the who and the when.