Strategy, like innovation and lots of other business buzzwords, seems to mean less the more it’s mentioned. As we’ve posted before, most strategy turns out to be “strategery“, but this definition, from Lawrence Freedman via Martin Weigel’s blog is a nice one:
Strategy is much more than a plan. A plan supposes a sequence of events that allows one to move with confidence from one state of affairs to another. Strategy is required when others might frustrate one’s plans because they have different and possibly opposing interests and concerns…the inherent unpredictability of human affairs, due to the chance events as well as the efforts of opponents and the missteps of friends, provides strategy with its challenge and drama.
Strategy is often expected to start with a description of a desired end state, but in practice there is rarely an orderly movement to goals set in advance. Instead, the process evolves through a series of states, each one not quite what was anticipated or hoped for, requiring a reappraisal and modification of the original strategy, including ultimate objectives. The picture of strategy…is one that is fluid and flexible, governed by the starting point and not the end point.
Repost from Martin Weigel blog.