Strategic Management With Long and Short Term Objectives
Strategic management involves intentionally organizing your resources and deploying them to meet specific goals. Short-term goals and long-term goals can help you set priorities and emphasize to employees what is important. Even if your business is very small, use strategic management to maximize your resources and track actual performance to see if your strategic goals are attained.
Strategic management requires the business owner and management team to collaborate. Your management team should share information to make decisions in the best interest of the company. It's not enough to give managers enough authority to make decisions in their operational areas. They will need to consider the overall needs of the company -- or the strategic goals -- before they make decisions, or their actions could hurt areas of operation beyond their scope of authority.
In large organizations, there might be a strategic management committee that includes members representing various stakeholder groups. In a small business, you can make strategic management decisions and plan accordingly, even if you do not require direct participation by customers and suppliers. At a minimum, you will want input from all departments in your organization. Members of a strategic management team could be managers, technical experts and employees from around the company. If you have a unionized workforce, you will also want representatives from collective bargaining units.
Before you set out to write short-term objectives for your business, look at your market position. Decide where you want to be -- the company's vision -- in a few years. Write long-term goals that will help you realize this vision. These goals will help you continue fulfilling the purpose of the company and attain a specific market position within a defined period of time. Employees should give input before long-term goal setting commences and have access to a list of the final goals. Their managers will help them understand how goals are to be realized.
Linked to long-term objectives, short-term objectives are timed, measurable and specific. They describe how you will implement long-term goals. Managers take care of the details of assigning specific short-term goals, or parts of those goals, to individuals. As the business owner, follow up and see if goals are being measured and attained by departments and individuals. If business conditions change, work with the management team to adjust short-term objectives. If strategic short-term goals are not being met, shift employees to different roles to get better results the second time.