A Definition of Strategy

A colleague recommended Rich Howarth’s book on strategy and management of strategy called “Deep Dive: The Proven Method for Building Strategy, Focusing Your Resources, and Taking Smart Action.”

Howarth has a definition of strategy that I like:

“the intelligent allocation of limited resources through a unique system of activities to outperform the competition in serving customers.”

Based upon this definition of strategy, then Strategic Leadership would be defined as

“Causing people in an organization to intelligently allocate limited resources through a unique system of activities to outperform the competition in serving customers.”

I like the idea of recognition of limited resources, and the idea of well thought through intentional use of those resources in a way that improves upon existing ways to achieve the end result. The only thing that I’d love to see changed is the replacement of the word “intelligent” with “optimum”. “Optimum” implies so much more. It implies not just that a better allocation of resources is used, but the best allocation of resources is used.

Regardless of this, at least the idea of “intelligently” allocating resources implies that someone thought of what could be done, and decided to do something for a reason other than “we have always done it like this”.

I thought that this was worth sharing, as I like the thinking behind the definition.

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