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A Note on Strategy

Submitted by on January 11, 2014 – 6:03 amNo Comment

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.

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