Strategy – an idea that works
Strategy: The efficient allocation of Limited Resources to accomplish Prioritized Objectives in a Competitive Environment.
Strategy is the process of matching of means (resources) to ends (objectives) in a competitive environment. To do this you must clearly articulate your goals and understand both the competition for scarce resources within the system as well as understand the nature of the “external threat” – competition from other organizations.
A strategic plan is the theory about how an organization can best “create” the outcome it desires. A strategic plan encompasses a broad array of subordinate goals that define the desired End State. This plan is a snapshot of established goals and the allocation of resources according to a set of priorities at a given time. If it is used correctly, the process of developing that plan allows you to make trade-offs between competing objectives over time with limited resources.
However, no matter how well done, a strategic plan is not static in nature. The assumptions upon which it is based will change. The minute a plan is completed, it becomes obsolete. Things change and any “plan” must be constantly updated. If things change significantly, the plan can become worse than no plan at all because it can cause resources to be spent in a counterproductive manner.
Strategic planning is important because it promotes strategic thought. Because “thinking” is an ongoing process, it is inherently dynamic in nature.
Strategic thought requires thinking “conceptually” as opposed to “sequentially.” Sequential thought weighs the pros and cons of each step against its immediate surroundings. Conceptual thought requires that each step be measured against the larger goal.