What is a strategy and where to start?
How often have you heard terms like “strategic approach”, “strategically”, “strategic plan”, and the list could go longer?
Undeniably that it is usually attention-catching, as if by adding the term, the idea is smarter, more important, better quality, higher impact, and last longer.
But is this the case?
Not necessarily. At least not for most of the time.
The word has been overused in most of the corporates, business schools, and stories behind the success of a company or a person. So what is a Strategy?
What does Strategy mean to me?
When I was being promoted as Strategy & Planning Manager, a newly created role for me as the business scaled. I had little to no knowledge about creating strategies.
I am often confused by what a strategy is and thought that only consultants, high-level management, or top-in-class can come out with one.
I was in doubt whether I would be able to excel in the role so I asked the question to my manager, who has been in leadership role for more than 20 years, and in developing strategies.
I remembered vividly how my manager described my strengths as a good fit for it:
- React fast and being rationale to situation
- Agile and adaptive
- Logical and analytical problem solver
If these are what it takes, then in short, a Strategy (to me) is a rational reaction according to the situation for addressing problems or challenges.
Well, now it doesn’t sound as hard as I thought it was.
Where to start?
There are few good books that you can start with to learn more about developing strategies. My top 3 recommendations are:
- Good Strategy/Bad Strategy: The Difference and Why It Matters by Richard Rumelt
2. Playing to Win: How Strategy Really Works by A.G. Lafley and Roger L. Martin
3. The Art of Strategy by Avinash K. Dixit & Barry J. Nalebuff