ST.9 Define the strategic goals



This activity guides you through the process of defining strategic goals for the company that are aligned with the value chain vision and the high priority strategic factors.


• List of key stakeholders from the activity PR.3 Build the right external partnerships.

• A vision of a sustainable value chain from the activity PR.6 Develop a value chain vision.

• Categorized set of strategic factors to support strategy development from the activity ST.7 Do a SWOT analysis.


A set of strategic goals that address the high priority strategic factors used in the activity ST.10 Generate ideas for new products, markets and selling points.




Take the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats from the SWOT analysis and list each one in the appropriate cell of the TOWS template


Select one of the sustainability hotspots and generate ideas for how it could be eliminated (if it is a negative impact), or enhanced (if it is a positive impact) by considering combinations of strategic issues – starting with ‘Strength-Opportunity’ combinations.


Do the same for ‘Strength-Threat’, ‘Weakness-Opportunity’, ‘Weakness-Threat’ combinations.


Select the most promising idea for how to eliminate/enhance the sustainability hotspot and then use this as the foundation to formulate a strategic goal for this hotspot that describes:

• Which sustainability hotspot is addressed

• What the desired change or improvement is

• How you will know when the goal has been achieved

• The date by which the goal will be achieved.

A template that follows this formula for creating strategic goals is provided in the Company Vision template.


Repeat this process for each of the sustainability hotspots until you have strategic goals defined for all of them.


Once you have created a goal for each of the hotspots see if there are any other high priority issues from the SWOT analysis that have not been addressed. If there are, create additional goals to address these other issues as you think necessary.

7. Check if there are any pre-existing strategic goals that are still consistent with the new company vision and other strategic goals – include them if they are.

8. Review the list of strategic goals you have created to check the following:

• Do the goals focus on outputs?

• If you showed the goals to anybody in the company would they understand them without additional explanation?

• Is there a combination of both short-term goals (typically 1-2 years) and long-term goals (3-5 years)?

• Are there fewer than eight goals? Any more than this will become bewildering and dilute their value.

• Are the goals consistent with the company vision?

• If the company achieves all of the goals would it have made significant progress towards the company vision? Or is something else required?

9. Once you have reviewed and revised the strategic goals make sure you have recorded them all in the Company Vision template.

Tips & Tricks


When formulating goals try to avoid including anything that describes how the goal will be achieved as this will limit the opportunities for innovation.

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