What is Strategy?



“However beautiful the strategy, you should occasionally look at the results.” — Winston Churchill

What is strategy?

My dictionary says that strategy is:

“A plan of action or policy designed to achieve a major or overall aim.”

Wikipedia says strategy is:

“A high level plan to achieve one or more goals under conditions of uncertainty.”

Those are pretty good definitions of strategy.

But I also like these simple but elegant variations:

“The essence of strategy is choosing what not to do.” – Michael Porter

“Strategy is what you invest in.” — Clayton Christensen

”Strategy is difference / differentiation.” – a smart colleague

“Consistently making those core directional choices that will best move you toward your hoped-for future.” — Erika Andersen, author of Being Strategic

For an incredible primer on strategy, read Michael Porter’s free article, What is Strategy?

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Image by Ekkehard Streit.