Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Strategy... overused, misunderstood

It's defined pretty clearly as the overarching main play of your business, yet few managers can spell it out. In fact most CEOs get confused as well and just sprinkle the S-word as often as possible to sound important "going forward" (as if we can or want to "go backward"). It's strategy. And once it's out there, it gets overused. A tactic is a smaller play, one that (hopefully!) aligns with your overarching strategy, yet we see almost everything become a strategy and every division of our companies become strategic. Like strategic HR, strategic IT and strategic coffee-breaks.

I was prompted to write this because of this quote, from Harvard Business Press...In a nutshell, as illustrated below, mission is about what will be achieved; the value network is about with whom value will be created and captured; strategy is about how resources should be allocated to accomplish the mission in the context of the value network; and vision and incentives is about why people in the organization should feel motivated to perform at a high level. Together, the mission, network, strategy, and vision define the strategic direction for a business. They provide the what, who, how, and why necessary to powerfully align action in complex organizations.