What is Strategy?

By Steven Bauer

Strategy and all its forms are industry buzz words that are thrown around like beads at a Mardi Gras parade in the French Quarter. But do we really know what that word means?

Here is a challenge for everyone. Next time you are in a meeting, either internal or external; keep track of the number of times the word strategy or some variation of the word is used. In addition to paying attention to the meeting, ask yourself what that word really means in the context of the discussion?

During our Q1 management off-site we were challenged to define STRATEGY and spent an hour on a very healthy discussion. Since then I have been searching the Internet for more information, one article that caught my eye was written by Fred Nickols, Strategy: Definitions and Meaning. In the article Nickols summarizes various definitions of strategy. The one definition that best sums it up for me and captures the essence of the discussion we had at the management off-site is from Henry Mitzberg:

· Strategy is a plan
· Strategy is a pattern
· Strategy is a position
· Strategy is a perspective

Cool, so what?

Strategy is a plan, a roadmap that takes our client marketing plan from Point A to Point B and beyond.
Strategy is a pattern, as a result of testing, benchmarking and understanding user behaviors over time.
Strategy is a position that is based on a foundation of understanding our client’s goals and objectives.
Strategy is a perspective arrived at through vision and thought leadership.

Regardless of your definition of strategy, the key to deepening any strategy is asking questions.

Now in the words of Linda Richman from Coffee Talk, DISCUSS!


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