Topical Discussion 2: What is Strategy?
Please read the following background and submit a response to the questions at the end of this information. Thanks!
The word and concept as used today is a variation from the original, which was based on military tactics and battle craft.
An accepted definition of “strategy” goes something like, “the application of strength, advantage, differentiating factors against weakness, disadvantage, or sameness”.
Sun Tzu in the “Art of War”, is quoted, “So in war, the way is to avoid what is strong, and strike at what is weak.”
This is a good characterization of “strategy”, staying true to the word’s military roots and easily applied to the “battle” of business and life.
Round out the concept of strategy by adding in the variable of certainty or likelihood. In other words, what is the percentage chance of winning with a given strategy?
That’s where logic comes into play. Strategy is like a hypothesis in scientific theory, and like a hypothesis, a strategy should represent a well-informed guess of future outcomes based upon a robust set of facts and highly probable perceptions.
The less sure you are of the facts, the less confident you can be about the predictive ability of the hypothesis, and the less you should be willing to “bet” on the outcome in terms of investment, resource allocation and time.
Similarly, good facts can be overcome by excessively unstable environments; economic, client based, and any number of other factors. The less stability and certainty there is in the environment that affects your business, the more or better facts you should have, the shorter should be your time horizon and the smaller amount of resources you should be willing to commit.
Along with logic, ideas are fundamental to good strategy. Inspired ideas, where there is an “aha” moment, are particularly valuable.
THE GUIDING PRINCIPLES OF STRATEGY DEVELOPMENT
The “Guiding Principles of Strategy Development” are fundamental to the way business opportunities are identified and developed for consistent success over both the short and long term. If followed, these Principles can be used for the creation of an effective strategy for a company overall, for each individual unit, and even for yourself.
Guiding Principles for Strategy Development: The following principles are key to the creation of an effective strategy for a company. They are fundamental to the way business opportunities are identified and developed for consistent and profitable business over both the short and long term.
An effective strategy must:
An effective strategy must answer:
An effective strategy must internalize a core approach characterized by:
To follow our defined strategy, action steps will be characterized by:
Please comment on:
What is strategy? How would you define it?
Also, please pick a section from the Principles of Strategy Development and let me know what you think about it.