Goals: The Whats, Not the Hows


Strategic planning can be confusing because of the seemingly similar keywords used – goals, objectives and strategies. Let’s get them straight.

Goals are what you want to achieve.

Objectives put some flesh on the goals.

Strategies are the hows.

Three steps. Ka-ching!

. . . social and economic goals are pragmatic enough. Serving the common good is just good business.

Entrepreneurship: The best way to improve your economy.

The beauty of working through a strategic plan is the flexibility it gives you before jumping off into reality.

Now I’ve added “. . . create a virtual company of companies organized around networks, not hierarchies, where workers earn profit, not pay.”

Seriously, I hope you have as much fun developing your strategic plan as I did.

Terms Are Confusing But It’s Not Rocket Science

Okay, now we have our mission and vision statements in place. Let’s use them to guide us through goal setting. But first, let’s consider the trio of topics we are about to explore in three different class sessions.

Strategic planning really isn’t rocket science, but it can be confusing because of the seemingly similar keywords used – goals, objectives and strategies. Let’s get them straight.

Goals are what you want to achieve. They are the whats, not the hows. They are general statements without details. For example, one of the Company of Ones’ goals is to change the way capitalism works.

Objectives put some flesh on the goals. They are more specific. They get confusing because objectives are a subset of goals, just more specific. One of the COWORK Entrepreneurs’ objectives is to use NME to help at least 100 people like you become socially responsible indie capitalists or indie entrepreneurs within the first year.

Strategies are the hows. I’ve alluded to my strategy in my vision statement. I now see a virtual company of companies, COWORK Entrepreneurs, organized around networks, not hierarchies, where workers earn profit, not pay.

Three steps. Ka-ching!

So you see, even words from your mission and vision statements might carry over into your goals, objectives or strategies. Or come from them if you go back later as I did. But the trio of goals, objectives and strategies are a specific set of different steps in sequence. No overlaps allowed!

For that reason, I want you to keep a couple of extra note pages handy while you develop your goals. Label one of the extra pages “Objectives” and the other “Strategies. If a goal seems more like an objective or a strategy, jot it down over there. Decide later whether it works. Carry on with the goal setting.

Pragmatic Reasons for Socio-Economic Goals

Also before we begin, I want to remind you that the purpose of NME is to produce socially responsible indie capitalists and entrepreneurs.

While you’re establishing your goals, I’m busy gathering videos and links to explain why your personal strategic plan should connect with your market’s social and community needs. Remember, we are the alternative to unrestrained, blood-sucking capitalism.

Personally, I consider social and community economic goals pragmatic. Serving the common good is just good business.

If you recall from the Red Zone, I showed you how unrestrained capitalism sucked the lifeblood out of the community, depositing the wealth way off somewhere, leaving little to re-circulate in the local community. Well, here’s our first chance to talk about a pact between your business, the community and especially the people to keep those dollars circulating in town. See there? Doing good will be good for your business!

There are federal programs that promote Community Economic Development (CED) through grants to new business development, but of course, I’m not too impressed with the government’s understanding or commitment to true grassroots economics. I’ve seen it at work. It’s pitiful.

The real solutions are to be found in the private sector. And that’s you.

I have placed a link to a privately owned consultant’s website called Useful Community Development (see Resources below). There are four writers contributing to this website, but one of the writers, Nancy Thompson, owns the copyright.

I’m not promoting the group but you can get some good ideas there!

One article I particular appreciate is headlined “Entrepreneurship: The Best Way to Improve Your Economy.” The authors of this site are entrepreneurs and I’m more comfortable with that than a federal grant program funding projects through Community Development Corporations.

You don’t need government connections to team up with the community that will be your lifeblood. All you have to do is include the community in your personal strategic plan!

Sample Goals from COWORK Entrepreneurs’ StratPlan

Okay. Let’s take a look at what I’ve done in setting the COWORK Entrepreneurs’ goals as an example.

Of course, I am well down the road on strategic plan development because I began quite awhile ago and the development of the NME course has revealed new needs and opportunities I hadn’t dreamed of at the beginning. Since my plan is set in cement, I’ve been able to go back and amend it.

For example, COWORK Entrepreneurs was not even a twinkle in my eye! After drafting the class essays to date and working on my StratPlan, it occurred to me that NME is just the beginning. Once students complete the course, they are going to need further support as they launch new careers as indie capitalists and company of one entrepreneurs.

Opportunities to work in environments that will accommodate their new approach will be limited because typical companies don’t work that way. And those who decide to quit the company and become truly independent entrepreneurs will not have a business model that fits the NME profile.

Before all this, my mission statement was simply to help workers. Now it reads “workers and entrepreneurs.

That’s quite a leap! Accordingly, I’ve revised my goals upward.

This is the beauty of working through a strategic plan before jumping off into reality. You meet problems and opportunities while they’re still flexible.

COWORK Entrepreneurs’ Goals

  • Change the way capitalism works.
  • Change the way workers work.
  • Change the way compensation works.
  • Change the way management works.
  • Build a disruptive and innovative business model.
  • Trademark it and franchise it.
  • Develop an online course to educate and promote it.
  • Organize a network of socially responsible companies to transform the concept into practice.
  • Redirect the attention of economic analysts, policy-makers and media from Wall Street to Main Street.
  • Help many become acclaimed leaders of economic change.

These goals expand the intent of my project beyond my original concept and I am excited about it. My do-good project is doing way better and there’s plenty of money to be made by all who engage in the outcome — including me! Whoopee!

Seriously, I hope you have as much fun developing your strategic plan as I have.

Meanwhile, if your list of goals are lacking in detail, I urge you to wax poetic in your notes under each goal. Boil them back down as I have, but you’ll need your notes to recall what you mean as we continue on our journey through the planning process.

Please share.

Please complete and revise your goals until you’re satisfied. Then go to the next class.
Objectives: Putting Meat on the Bones


Not My EconomicsGoals: The Whats, Not the Hows