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Cascade Goals into Actions: Spreading Goals to Different Departments

When implementing your company’s new strategic plan, the planning team should ensure that the department level goals achieve the corporate goal after all department goals are completed. Follow these steps to cascade goals in your organization down to as many levels as you choose, including individual players.

  1. Select a person to be in charge of managing the cascading process.

    If you’ve appointed a strategic plan manager, that’s the ideal person for the job.

  2. Create a grid that lists all the corporate goals on the left-hand side and all departments horizontally across the top.

  3. Identify which departments are responsible for each goal.

    Some goals may require two or more departments.

  4. Ask each department head or manager to develop department specific goals to support the corporate goals his department has been assigned.

    See the figure for an example. Managers should ask these questions: What must we, as a team, do to support the corporate goals? What must I do to support my team’s goals?

  5. Repeat Steps 2 through 4 as needed.


When goals cascade successfully, the results can be dramatic because you get alignment across the entire organization. All the executives at the same level need to agree on how they support the CEO’s vision and what they can do to minimize conflict.

Cascading goals creates constancy of focus, which gets everybody thinking about his contribution and how he’s the foundation for the corporate goals. Be sure to get the agreement in writing. See the next figure for an example of effective goal cascading in action.

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