Introduction Strategy 🙂

Strategic Management is another field that I am passionate about. Before I start on with the strategy readings, I thought it would be nice to refresh the definitions/concept of the word ‘Strategy’.

Definition/Concept: Strategy is a plan that aims to give the enterprise a competitive advantage over rivals through differentiation. Strategy is about understanding what you do, what you want to become, and – most importantly—focusing on how you plan to get there. Likewise, it is about what you don’t do; it draws boundaries around the scope of a company’s intentions. 

A sound strategy, skillfully implemented, identifies the goals and direction that managers and employees at every level need in order to define their work and make their organization successful. An organization without a clear strategy, in contrast, is rudderless. It flails about, dashing off in one direction after another as opportunities present themselves, but never achieving a great deal. Strategy operates both corporate and operating unit levels.

 

(pg. xiv; Strategy: Create and Implement the Best Strategy: Create and Implement the Best Strategy for Your Business; Harvard Business School; 2005: Harvard Business School Press: Boston, Massachusetts) 

Let’s move on to still another definition of strategy.

The authors highlight that many people describe strategy to be a plan, a guide, a direction or some course of action into the future, and it thus gives a path to get from here to there. However, they introduce the definition of strategy as a pattern; thus strategy as defined by the authors: ‘strategy is a pattern that is consistent over time’. A company that perpetually markets the most important products is pursuing a high end strategy; just as the person who always accepts the most challenging of jobs may be described as pursuing a high risk strategy.

(Pgs. 9-12; Strategy Safari: A Guided Tour Through the Wilds of Strategic Management; Henry Mintzberg, Bruce Ahlstrand, Joseph Lampel; 1998: Simon and Schuster: The Free Press, New York)

The authors, however; agree the fact that both the above definitions are suitable and this is because companies do plan for their future as well as develop patterns from their past experiences. Thus, one is termed as an intended strategy, while the other is termed as a realized strategy. Intentions or strategies that get fully realized are termed as deliberate strategies, while the ones that do not get accomplished are called unrealized strategies.

A vital question that comes up from the above is if all the realized strategies were really intended?  The authors also underline the fact that the real world without doubt does need some kind of thinking ahead and as well as some adaptations that may be needed en route.

(Cf. Pgs. 9-12; Strategy Safari: A Guided Tour Through the Wilds of Strategic Management;Henry Mintzberg, Bruce Ahlstrand, Joseph Lampel; 1998: Simon and Schuster: The Free Press, New York)

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