“Strategy” is something that many companies need but surprisingly few have. The classical definition of the term is that a strategy is a plan of action or policy designed to achieve a major objective. It is often identified as the “over-the-horizon” goal of an organization; that vision that guides the daily execution of the mission and provides an overall focus for operations. In business; it will in many cases be the one- or two-year plan that focuses the subordinate organization’s effort and allows for synchronization.
Good strategies are the product of a careful consideration of yesterday and today in combination with a reasonable set of conclusions about the future. They offer businesses a flexible and responsive longer-term focus that enables subordinates to make effective and rapid decisions, and gives decision-makers the ability to not only see the key decisions of the future but determine the potential outcomes of those decisions. It is unlikely you would take a major trip without a map or GPS. Trying to run an organization without a strategy is much the same thing. The old saying “If you don’t know where you are going it doesn’t matter what route you take to get there” certainly applies to running companies. Strategies are your company’s maps, and it is important to have them.