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Goals Vs Objectives

Goals Vs Objectives

Role of organizational objectives:

Objectives define the organization’s relationship with its environment; by stating its objectives, an organization commits itself to what it has to achieve for its employees, customers and society at large. These objectives have to be converted to actionable goals by strategically aligning with the activities of the firm.


goals vs objectives


Let me tell you, when we talk about objectives, it is what we intend to do in the immediate future; towards what our actions are oriented to accomplish something. Goals are long term and are less structured.

I recently read an article, where the author had beautifully and simply explained the difference between goals and objectives, how they can be easily remembered, and the inter-relationship between them and how they are often used inter-changeably.

What are Goals?

A goal has the word ‘go’ in it. Your goals should go forward in an unambiguous direction. However, goals are more about everything you accomplish on your journey, rather than getting to that distant point. Goals will often go into undiscovered territory and you therefore can’t even know where the end will be.


set goals


Pic courtesy: TimeInvestors

What are Objectives?

An objective has the word ‘object’ in it. Objects are concrete. They are something that you can hold in your hand. Because of this, your objectives can be clearly charted with timelines, budgets, and personnel needs. Every area of each objective should be firm.


goals and objectives


“Goals without concrete objectives are unattainable and

Objectives without goals will never get you where you want to be.”


To achieve the goals, an organization must set definite objectives for each functional area and communicate those objectives to the employees’ through proper channels in-order to accomplish them in the stipulated time-period.

For example, if your goal is to increase your soft-drink sales volume by 20% by the end of 2015, what are the specific objectives you need to lay? This question leads to sub-queries paving the way for action.


  1. You need to set objectives for each quarter because sales doesn’t go up overnight
  2. First of all, you need to communicate this plan to all your employees’ right from top to bottom; this facilitates uniform thinking and synchronized activity without ambiguity.
  3. Ensure you have sufficient man power, material and money.
  4. You can also take inputs from your employees, sometimes a lower level employee might come out with a brilliant idea.
  5. Sales is not just producing and selling, it has to reach out to the audience; so, you need to rev-up your advertising and campaigning.
  6. Set budgets for each functional area and time-period
  7. Articulate strategies to tie-over your competitors
  8. Motivate your employees by offering incentives


This clearly shows that objectives must be actionable or else they become unattainable. You may or may not reach your goal, but definitely it is an experience worth the effort.

“Objectives are not fate; they are direction. They are not commands; they are commitments. They do not determine the future; they are means to mobilize the resources and energies of the business for the making of the future.”-Peter Drucker

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