According to the Britannica Dictionary, Strategy is:
“A careful plan or method for achieving a particular goal usually over a long period of time.”
Let’s dissect this definition.
I don’t entirely agree all strategies are “careful” plans or methods. It is subjective to decide if one strategy is wise or not. Still, I would say that many strategies are taken without analysis or care, and in my opinion, that does not exclude them from the definition.
When we think about strategy, it comes to our minds a group of people discussing how to overcome obstacles to get a goal. So building this plan clearly reflects a careful planning. But managers or individuals could choose a strategy just because it is commonly used in the existing circumstances, because it was the one always used in the past, or any other unrelated reason.
Plan or Method
To get a goal, we need to do something. These actions to take are the ones included in this plan or method. Even if we decide to do nothing, we are deciding on a plan, which is doing nothing.
Achieving a Particular Goal
This is the main point. There cannot be a strategy if there is not at least a goal. Each strategy must have a purpose.
And it might look like a banality, but if the goals are not well defined, we will never be able to find a good strategy.
One of my favorite quotes is this one:
“There is no favorable wind for the sailor who doesn’t know where to go.”
Usually, over a long period of time
I don’t fully agree either with this element of the definition. I suspect that it is included to distinguish a strategy from a tactic. But how can we evaluate what a long period is? For some goals, we might need minutes; for others, months or years. So I would say the period of time depends on the goal.
I don’t pretend to criticize the Britanny Dictionary. Even if I tried, I would surely come to a much worse definition.
I just used it to clear up my thoughts about the basics.
I have always been attracted to all the things related to strategy. I read many books about it, played chess, got training, designed plans, … and now I have decided to write about it. And that is what I plan to reflect on this site.
I think strategy concepts are constantly applied to all the areas of our lives. All the different actions that we do daily are to achieve something. So in all of them, we use a more or less elaborated strategy.
On this site, I plan to review the main strategy frameworks and see how they can be applied to businesses and our lives.