A goal is an outcome a team desires to achieve, whereas an objective is a specific and measurable action that could be reached in a short amount of time. Expressed more practically, objectives are the individual steps or actions we need to take to achieve a goal.
Organizational goal setting gives people a clear sense of direction, a connection to the bigger picture, and greater control over outcomes. Objectives are the critical ingredient to team success. Organizations benefits most when leaders and team members collaborate on the objectives needed to reach targeted outcomes or goals.
Great objectives share four qualities: they are short, measurable, specific, and time bound. In other words, they consist of a single action or small sets of actions, not a complex soup of steps. They are quantitative by nature and easy to measure. The actions that make up an objective are precise and clear. And they are always connected to a deadline or expiration date.
Great organizations focus on reaching the objectives with the end-goal in mind.
Source: Manage by objectives, P. Ducker