Section 1 Strategic aims and objectives
In this section you’ll start at the beginning of the strategic process and reflect on some fundamental questions, like what business you’re really in and why you’re doing what you’re doing. The answers to such questions give meaning to your strategy. Not having the answers is like leaving for the airport to go on holiday without having decided your destination. It’s what, in organisational terms, is called ‘strategic purpose’. In both this and the next section, you’ll try to get to the bottom of where you’re going and, indeed, where you believe you should be going.
This section covers the following learning outcomes: 7006.1 Be able to review and determine the organisational strategic aims and objectives 7011.1:1.1 Identify the organisational strategic aims and objectives
Section mind map
There are two topics in this section as shown below. Check the subjects within each one and then continue with the areas you need to explore.
Strategic aims and objectives Topic 2: Identifying and auditing aims and objectives 1.1 Strategic values 2.2 Auditing aims and objectives
Topic 1: Links to value, mission and vision
2.1 The process of developing aims and objectives
1.2 Strategic vision and mission
Links to values, vision and mission
A number of factors are key in framing an organisation’s strategic purpose. These are typically your values, your sense of vision and your mission. They are normally expressed by ‘statements’. By understanding and organising these, you’ll be able to determine aims and objectives, which is where sense of purpose starts to move into something more concrete. It’s the beginning of strategic planning. Values, vision and mission are based on the expectations and wishes of key stakeholders, about which there’s more in Section 2 where we deal with stakeholder analysis. If you’re unclear of the influence of stakeholders with regard to strategic purpose and in framing aims and objectives, you may want to look at that section first.
One of the key drivers of strategic purpose in an organisation is its values. Values are part of the organisation’s culture — those subconscious assumptions and beliefs that frame its view of itself. ‘Subconscious’? Yes, but more and more these values are being analysed and made explicit so that there is a clear alignment between value and purpose. Typically, we think of organisational values as things like communication, integrity, respect, excellence and so on — a mixture of ethical behaviour and work standards. But as these four values were those of the failed and fraudulent energy company Enron (as claimed in its annual report for 2000) alarm bells should be ringing! Values sound great, but they throw up some key questions for the strategist: How can you ensure values are not just some fluffy, bland and meaningless corporate speak? How can you ensure that cultural values, corporate values and strategic values are all the same thing? They could be working against each other. Before we answer these questions, you’ll consider what types of values an organisation may have.
Types of values
Lencioni noted four types of corporate values: core values — these are the deeply ingrained principles that govern all the organisation’s actions. They are the source of a company’s distinctiveness. For example, Hewlett-Packard developed the ‘HP Way’: trust and respect for individuals,
Strategic aims and objectives
high level of achievement and contribution, uncompromising business integrity, teamwork, flexibility and innovation. aspirational values — those values that are needed in order to succeed in the future. Note that here is where a traditional value may be out of step with a strategic value. permission-to-play values — what you might also call ‘threshold’ values (non-core, non-distinctive), namely, those minimum...