What is strategy?

What is strategy? This is a question I started asking myself after a conversation with @mitch_olson yesterday. I searched internally for an answer and came up with my fall-back question set – “Who am I? What do I do? Why does it matter?” drilled into me by Michael G Major at 7o.

Strategy for me falls into the “What do I do?” question. It determines what I do to approach a particular opportunity or challenge. It could be an approach to marketing or an initiative focusing on optimising process, possibly even a change in consciousness, thinking or culture. A strategy needs to be high level enough for people to align their thinking and actions to and, because of this, needs to have universal appeal to its target audience. Strategy opens up a conversation that gives a direction and permission to create a difference.

So, where does “Who am I?” fit with strategy? Who am I forms the emotional, spiritual and intellectual basis for what I do. It is the informer of strategy. “Who am I?” is a question I constantly ask – whether it is on a personal level or at an organisational level. It’s a way of validating that I am passionate about what I do.

How about “Why does it matter?” There is no point in creating strategy without meaning. I do things because they mean something to me. “Why does it matter?” is the real world litmus test for strategy. What I do matters because it needs to align with my core values and beliefs and change things in a way that further strengthen them. Strategy matters because it opens the opportunity to consciously change things that are important us, whether they are monetary, psychosocial or environmental.

So with this in mind, I’m off to re-validate and / or re-determine the New-Clarity strategy, a task that has taken years and may take a few more.

Thanks Mitch and Michael for the inspiration to write this article.