Strategy

by Doreen Yarnold

Introduction

What is strategy? At its simplest it can be seen as a collection of key choices and manoeuvres that an organisation (or department, team or individual) intends to take in pursuit of its vision, goals and objectives.

‘Would you tell me please which way I ought to go from here?’

‘That depends a good deal on where you want to get to.’ said the Cheshire Cat.

‘I don’t much care where.’ said Alice.

‘Then it doesn’t matter which way you go.’ said the Cat.

Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland

Strategy is concerned with the longer-term positioning and performance of an organisation in its current and future marketplaces, having taken account of the external environment in which it operates and its own internal strengths, weaknesses and capabilities. It describes the moves an organisation will take in order to achieve its desired future state.

Strategy must take into account the expectations of the organisation’s key stakeholders, such as customers/clients, employees, shareholders, regulators, government and so on, in order to ensure their continued support.

What do you want to achieve or avoid? The answers to this question are objectives. How will you go about achieving your desired results? The answer to this you can call strategy.

William E Rothschild

The best organisations usually write their strategies down in a ‘strategic plan’, which covers the broad areas of activity that the organisation will pursue, plus, importantly, those areas it will not pursue. This strategic plan can then be used to inform departments and individuals in the organisation in the development of their own goals, objectives, budgets and action plans.

Finally, remember, implementation is king! The best strategies in the world are useless without the ability to implement them successfully.

Strategy without tactics is the slowest route to victory. Tactics without strategy is the noise before defeat.

Sun Tzu quotes (Chinese General and Author, b500 BC)