A Note on Strategy
In the fog of constant overuse we tend to lose any common definition of what is and what isn’t a legitimate “strategy”.
Here is what I mean when I use the term.
In a single sentence:
Strategy is the art of choice that involves defining a clear intention, conducting a sober assessment of means and context, sequencing actions in priority and developing a clear and communicable theory of victory.
Each piece of this description could take a world of unpacking (simply helping an organisation clarify its objectives can be a daunting exercise). A slightly longer description:
Strategy is the art of choice that involves
- The clarification of intent; what does the organisation seek to achieve?
- The sober assessment of means; what do we have to work with?
- The context in which the organisation is operating (customer insight, competitive landscape etc.). What do we know about the world around us?
- The sequence of priorities and actions necessary to achieve the intended outcome. These include consideration of things we will not do, or stop doing.
- A clear (i.e. measurable) theory of victory that is easy to communicate. This is why we will succeed and how we will know when we have done so.
I believe that any good strategy helps you make choices you don’t yet know you will face. It should be elastic enough to account for an unknown future.