Strategic intent

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Strategic intent
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Strategic intent is colloquially, what we would like to achieve in the future. They give, and determine, the sense of existence of each unit, system etc. By referring this definition specifically to enterprises, we can define goals as planned undertakings that are the result of the specific needs of the given organization, as well as its surroundings. The main principle of determining goals is their clear and transparent determination, so that they leave no doubt as to compliance with the mission of the company. In addition, they should be strictly formulated, measurable, ambitious, realistic and timely (SMART principle) [1].

Strategic intent in the hierarchy

Objectives are subject to prioritization and are determined at the following three levels [2]:

  • strategic,
  • tactical,
  • operating.

Setting strategic intent

Strategic intent are defined as already mentioned, mainly considering the vision that the company intends to pursue. This is the most important criterion, however, one should not forget about taking into account other factors, such as analyzing the macro-environment of the organization, its competition, internal situation at the moment of formulating it, or finally the needs of the environment. Importantly, these goals can not be in any way contradictory.

In every major organization, managers are responsible for setting goals, at the appropriate level to make such decisions. It is important to they focus less on formal structural design and more on effective management processes [3].

The role of strategic intent

Well-formulated strategic goals become the basis for the next development of strategic plans. Strategic plans, in turn, have the task of setting priorities for actions and making a series of decisions at various levels, enabling the implementation of previously assumed strategic objectives. These, in turn, will allow later development of tactical goals by top and middle level managers. This goal classification is presented in the form of a goal tree (or a goal classifier). In the light of the aforementioned role of strategic goals, it is worth noting that in the case of incorrect definition, all minor objectives will also be wrong, which may negatively affect all plans of the company [4].



  1. Strategic Intent, pages 148-151
  2. Development of Quality-By-Design Analytical Methods, page 801
  3. Changing the Role of Top Management: Beyond Strategy to Purpose, (1994), pages 80-82
  4. Strategizing Throughout the Organization: Managing Role Conflict in Strategic Renewa

Author: Paulina Ściera