The most successful businesses today would not be able to get where they are had they not managed to overcome the challenges that have shaped them into the organizations that they are in the present.

However, facing these obstacles needed a solid strategy to follow — one that had the right goals and objectives in place.

Given how these two elements make up an innovation strategy, how do you define them in ways that could benefit the innovation process of your company?

Before we jump to that, let us first identify how a goal differs from two other terms that are often associated with it — key performance indicator and target.

What distinguishes a goal from a KPI and a target?

Here’s how we define the following:

Goal and objective

A goal is described as a succinct statement of the desired outcome that will be attained over a significant period of time, which is typically set at around three to five years.

It is a comprehensive articulation that centers on a person’s or an entity’s most coveted situations without necessarily defining the procedures used to accomplish them.

Meanwhile, an objective specifies an action that will be implemented to achieve one’s identified goals. In contrast to goals, objectives are defined, quantifiable, and time-bound. They are made and established with a completion date.

In addition, they are more precise. Details may consist of who, what, when, where, and how these actions will be carried out.

Examples of goals include business growth and people engagement, while examples of objectives include achieving a minimum of 20% return on investment in a fiscal year and getting at least 20 new blog readers this month by creating 10 more additional articles.

Key performance indicator (KPI)

A key performance indicator (KPI) determines how a brand is doing in meeting its goals and objectives.

It’s a quantifiable measure that is useful in tracking your business and innovation performance.

Selecting the most appropriate KPIs is vital in determining whether your present outcomes are truly helping you achieve your desired results. Through KPIs, you can identify whether you’ve reached the benchmark or you’ve gone short somewhere.

You would be able to discover all your gray areas and understand where changes are required. After all, you cannot improve what you do not measure.

Examples of KPIs include a number of ideas produced in a brainstorming session, the number of implemented projects within a year, and your annual innovation success rate.

Target

Setting performance goals can assist you in implementing the strategic improvements that many expanding firms require.

It gives concentration and direction since picking objectives drives you to make a commitment to reach a certain and improved quality or degree of performance over a given time frame.

As a result, these goals must be explicit, quantifiable, attainable, realistic, and time-bound.

While closely related to objectives, a target simply implies the level or benchmark that you are aiming to achieve for your KPIs.

For example, if your objective is to increase your number of ideas per brainstorming session, you can set your target to be around 300 ideas.

What are some broad examples of innovation goals and innovation objectives?

There are two types of innovation goals — macro and micro.

Macro innovation goals

Macro innovation goals are considered as the organization’s most important aims which may take a long time to accomplish.

These business goals correspond to the ultimate scope and nature of innovation within your business.

These goals are wonderful starting points for discussions and are incredibly beneficial for motivating your entire team, getting support from key stakeholders, and bringing everyone together for a unified purpose.

Examples:

  • Boosting employee engagement
  • Creating new ideas for products and services
  • Performing better than competitors
  • Improving innovation process
  • Dominating the market

Note that macro innovation goals alone cannot constitute a solid innovation process. These goals are too broad and generic to make up a concrete innovation strategy. That’s why you have to set smaller, more doable, and specific goals.

Still, remember that these macro innovation goals are crucial as they can help you in explicitly defining your micro innovation goals.

Micro innovation goals

Specific and realistic micro innovation goals are critical to the success of any innovation program.

These goals may be short-term per se, but they are tailored to your strategies and project requirements.

They are quantifiable results that can be attained in every phase of your innovation plan.

Creating milestones and gradual but definitive progress will keep everyone in your team engaged and focused.

Examples:

  • Streamlining communication processes for innovation
  • Enhancing current product lines
  • Improving overall idea generation
  • Acquiring a specific number of participants in your innovation activity
  • Effectively implementing innovation projects

Turning goals into objectives

Turning these goals into innovation objectives is easy:

Just study what options you have to turn these goals into a reality and include them in writing your objectives.

Be sure to make everything very clear and concise by adding a completion date when applicable.

Examples:

  • Streamline communication processes for innovation through innovation software
  • Enhance current product lines by improving this “aspect” of the product by the end of the quarter
  • Improve the organization’s overall idea generation process via ideation apps
  • Acquire 100 participants for the company’s innovation activity
  • Implement at least two innovation projects within the month

How to define your innovation goals and objectives

Prior to any innovation process, businesses should spend enough time analyzing and outlining innovation goals and objectives.

To effectively build your innovation strategy, you must explicitly identify these components first.

Here are four effective ways to do it:

1. Think of what you want your business to become in the future

When innovation and brand identity meet, purpose happens. When purpose occurs, everything will surely follow.

Identify the type of business you want to be seen as:

What are the things you want to do? What do you want to be known for? Upon answering these questions, remember that your innovation goals and objectives should not only align with your business strategies.

It should also be consistent with who and what you are as a brand. Think about how you want to be perceived by your customers and even your competitors, and then inject that into the picture.

2. Distinguish macro and micro innovation goals

Again, macro innovation goals are excellent grounds for sparking discussions about innovation within the company.

It becomes extremely handy in gearing up teams for the work that is necessary to attain progress and even in gaining the backing and approval of key stakeholders.

Macro innovation goals can become the starting point of innovation plans, but they can’t end there. You need to support it with your micro innovation goals, which means you need to go beyond the surface.

You need to expound your macro innovation goals and insert the most important details to make them concrete, measurable, and achievable.

Not to mention, your micro innovation goals should also be realistic. Distinguish these two to establish your milestones and innovative strategy.

3. Be specific with the type of innovation you want to focus on

One thing to remember about innovation is that it is a differentiator.

Every day, businesses generate new goods, processes, and ideas. Companies are able to look at challenges in new ways and find answers and solutions to problems that others cannot solve.

They deliver an inexhaustible supply of value to both their customers and their organizations. In a sense, your business may operate in a specialized niche or sector. However, it is not alone.

That’s why, you need the correct type of innovation that will set you apart from your competitors — something unique to your consumers, something that can make you stand out.

You need to distinguish your brand in the market, not only to boost your income nor meet customer demands but to avoid drowning in a sea of companies that offer the same products and services as yours.

4. Learn to measure the impact and importance of innovation

When you set innovation goals, the problem is usually determining how to quantify the effect and value of innovation.

As such, finding the correct measures to track innovation is far from simple.

To prevent typical errors, leaders should examine their company’s innovation process holistically.

Hence, you need to choose the appropriate KPIs to successfully grasp the problem or scenario that the measurement has to address, answer, or solve for the business.

Based on that understanding, develop or implement a practical and usable innovation measurement framework that is tailored to your needs as a company. In this approach, identifying the correct questions is frequently more challenging than finding the right answers.

That is why executives must analyze the company’s innovation difficulties, how innovation is presently assessed, and how existing measurement procedures to aid or impede efforts to meet the organization’s innovation goals and objectives.

Innovation goals and innovation objectives matter

Innovation goals and objectives are crucial in running a successful business.

They can get you laser-focused on the things you’d like to achieve as an organization, which can motivate your employees in accomplishing what needs to be done.

With the right KPIs to measure your efforts through, these goals and objectives will then translate into innovation, and then revenue.

Define your innovation goals and objectives now and turn them into the best innovation campaigns. Read on our 10 tips for organizing a successful innovation campaign today to get started.