Defining Strategy


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Lesson Material:

“It has been reported that fewer than 10% of employees say they understand their organization’s strategy…”


No matter how many books have been written about it; no matter how many articles the Harvard Business Review publishes on it; no matter how many classroom lectures are given about it; and no matter how much time, money and effort management spends communicating it, the results are largely the same: Strategy re- mains a mystery to most people in the organization. The question, “what is strategy”, remains the most widely asked question regarding strategy. Yet despite every effort to answer this question, no unified understanding has been found. Even the experts can’t agree, as you’ll soon see. Module 1 proposes managers ask a different question

“What does strategy do in the organization?”

Module I, Demystifying Strategy, provides an overview of the history of strategy, traditional approaches to its planning and implementation, and the limitations of such approaches. This module concludes with an introduction to the S2A Think-Learn-AdaptTM model as the conceptual frame- work for explaining how strategic ideas are formulated, filtered, and eventually pushed into the organizational flow as sanctioned initiatives.

By Completing Module 1, you should be able to describe the following:

The origins and evolution of strategy as a business concept.

Traditional approaches to strategy design and execution and the inherent problems that exists.

Common findings related to the strategy implementation gap.

The di erence between logical and emotional approaches to strategy, and the need for a blended approach.

The importance of carefully examining problems and questions before jumping to solutions and answers.

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