The more I read about strategy, the more I get confused. It appears that there are as many definitions of strategy as experts writing about it.
So this is my attempt to add to the confusion by trying to define strategy in my own way!
At its core, strategy is about defining a future state of the world. After all, if you don’t care how things will or will not change, then you have no need for a strategy, you can just let things happen. In some strange way, this is a strategy in itself.
I was careful not to say that if you don’t mind things staying the same, that you don’t need a strategy, and this is because even for things to stay the same you may often need to work quite hard and have a solid strategy.
So, we can take that future vision, and call it a goal. So the first step of strategy is to have a goal, and there are of course many ways to shape goals, but it is important that the goal is clear and easy to understand.
Next, strategizing requires figuring out the most efficient way to reach the desired future state, or goal. “Efficient” means achieving the goal with minimal “cost”. This involves striking a balance between the speed of reaching the goal and the resources needed to reach it.
As you pursue your goal, you need a way to evaluate your progress. You must assess where you are on your journey, how you’re doing, and if any modifications are necessary. That’s all I can think of. You may need to alter your goal because you now have more insight and recognize a better one. Alternatively, you may need to revise your approach to achieving your goal as it is not the most effective approach.
So, that is what I have so far. Strategy is a:
- A clearly defined goal.
- The most efficient method for attaining the goal.
- An evaluation methodology to update #1 and #2 as you go along.
I wonder if it really is that simple, and most people are making things far more complex than they need to be. Or if there is a significant amount of nuance that I am missing.