What Is Strategic Intent and Why is it Important For Businesses?

Businesses have to make decisions all the time and those decisions have a direct impact on their businesses. Strategic intent, or the goals that a business wants to achieve, is central in this process. It is a question of getting individuals to buy into the goals and objectives of the business.

Developing a strategic intent can be achieved through creating a vision statement that lays out an outcome based on what you want to achieve each day and how you will achieve it.

In this blog, we’ll look at what strategic intent is, hierarchy of strategic intent and why it’s important to businesses.

What is Strategic Intent?

Strategic intent is the guiding principle of a business’s long-term strategy. It defines the company’s objectives and how it plans to achieve them. Without a clear strategic plan, a business is at risk of drifting and eventually failing.

In short, Strategic Intent is a term that refers to the long-term goals of an organization. It’s a key factor in determining where an organization should focus its efforts and what type of strategies it should pursue.

There are a few different reasons why businesses might need to develop strategic intent. Perhaps the company is experiencing stagnant growth or is feeling challenged by new competitors. In any case, developing a clear understanding of what your organization wants to achieve will help you make informed decisions about your strategy and future course of action.

Creating a strategic intent document can be helpful in crystallizing these thoughts. It can also serve as a guide for measuring progress and making changes as needed.

There are many factors to consider when developing a strategic intent, but some key considerations include: customer needs, competitive landscape, resources available, and company culture.

Once you have determined what you want to achieve, it’s important to track progress and make adjustments as necessary. By staying focused on your long-term goals, you’ll be able to maintain competitiveness and maximize your potential for success.

The Hierarchy of Strategic Intent

Strategic intent is the overarching goal or purpose of a business. It is the guiding principle that underlies everything a business does, from its day-to-day operations to its long-term vision.

Hierarchy of Strategic Intent includes 5 types of elements: Vision, Mission, Goals, Objectives, and Action Plans.

  1. Vision: A clear and compelling statement of the purpose or goal of a business, its fundamental nature.
  2. Mission: The function or purpose of the business as clearly articulated to employees and customers; is a truth-based narrative that explains what the company does, why it does it, and how it does it.
  3. Goals: Set objectives for the business operation based on your vision and mission; be specific in what you want to accomplish (“become a $100 million company by 2025”).
  4. Objectives: Specific actions taken by a business to achieve goals; must be measurable (e.g., make a sale)
  5. Action Plans: Action plans are set within this hierarchical structure, outlining what needs to be achieved (at what time) in order to achieve the objective (e.g., marketing campaign, new sales initiative). The Action Plan should be broken down into sub-objectives and sub-sub-objectives for each of the goals and objectives.

Importance of Strategic Intent

Strategic intent is an important concept for businesses because it helps them understand what they are trying to achieve. It gives them a clear vision for the future and guides their actions.

There are several reasons why having a strategic intent is important.

  • First, it helps businesses focus on their long-term goals. They can be more creative in developing ways to achieve these goals, and they will be more likely to find successful strategies if they have a clear picture of what they want to achieve.
  • Second, having a strategic intent allows businesses to make decisions with clarity and certainty. They know what they are trying to achieve, and they can plan accordingly. This allows them to take action quickly and efficiently, which is essential in today’s fast-paced world.
  • Finally, having a strategic intent enables businesses to set high expectations for themselves and their employees. They know what they need to do in order to reach their goals, and this sets the stage for success.

An organization without strategic intent is direction less and businesses can easily get lost and drift aimlessly.


Strategic intent is the foundation of any successful business, and it is essential that companies have a clear idea of their goals in order to achieve them. Without a strategic plan, businesses can quickly lose focus and drift towards obsolescence or extinction.

By understanding the importance of strategic intent and implementing principles such as mission, values, vision, and goals into your organization’s culture, you can ensure that your company remains viable for years to come.

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