Thursday, November 04, 2004

Strategy and Mission

Much has been written on strategy. It can be a fuzzy and cosmic subject. I advocate a very simple approach to setting and communicating a strategy, and it can be done at all levels of the organization where choices are made.

A simple strategy is one that is written specifically for the purpose of review by other parts of the organization. It should cover what could be done, what will and won't be done, in what order, and why. Writing this down invites discussion of the rationale for investment. It can make the case for dial-up or dial-down investment in an area. In a healthy business there is more that could be done than you can afford to do. Without a written strategy, your department may subject itself to direction changes from other departments, customers and others.

That doesn't mean you won't change your mind. When you do, the simple strategy provides a level of rigor and review to make sure you haven't compromised something else by doing so.

A written strategy is a mission statement on steroids.

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