In business, strategy is what makes a difference. But most people don’t actually understand strategy. They understand tactics and confuse it with a strategy.
A strategy is a plan to achieve an organization’s Future Picture of success, what we call their High-Definition Destination. That Future Picture looks like this: a clear, compelling, and high-resolution description of the future an organization desires to achieve. While the strategy is your plan, tactics are the little things you are going to do to get there.
Tactics are actually doing; strategy is aligning and planning.
Because the goal is to determine the future as you and your team want it to be, tactics should not be on the agenda. For example, say you have a new product. Your advertising strategy may include mass media, but deciding whether to advertise on NBC or CBS is tactical. Stick to high-level strategy.
Questions to Ask When Creating a Strategy
Our definition of strategy is asking these 4 important questions:
- Where are we going to be in the future?
- What are we going to apply our resources into or against in order to get there?
- How are we going to do this?
- And when or how are we going to exit, adapt, or change course? Or, how do we finish with finesse?
When you are answering these questions, it’s important to keep it simple and clear. Don’t overcomplicate things.
The Key to Creating a Strategy
The key to creating a strategy for your business is understanding 2 things: 1. everything operates as a system, and 2. systems resist change. It is not going to be easy to change your business from one system to another (because of that “resist change” part). To achieve your Future Picture of success, you must break the elastic barriers of the old system and put the new system in place.
A great strategy can allow you to succeed. Keep your focus on a clear Future Picture for your business. Align your team on said strategy.