Strategy is an integrative set of choices that positions you on a playing field of your choice in a way that you win.

It is a theory of how you will be better than your competitors at serving the customers on the playing field you have chosen.

Strategy is not about planning. Planning is about what you will do, while strategy is about what you will achieve.

What is a Plan?

A plan is a set of activities that you will undertake to achieve your goals.

It is typically a detailed document that outlines the steps you will take, the resources you will need, and the timelines involved.

Planning is important, but it is not enough. You need a strategy to guide your planning and ensure that your activities are aligned with your goals.

Why a Plan is Not a Strategy

A plan is not a strategy because it does not address the following questions:

  • Where are we choosing to play?
  • How are we choosing to win?
  • What capabilities do we need to have in place?
  • What management systems do we need?
  • How will this achieve our goal?

A plan simply lists the things that you will do. It does not explain why you are doing them or how they will lead to your desired outcome.

How to Develop a Strategy

To develop a strategy, you need to start by asking yourself the following questions:

  • What are our goals?
  • What are our strengths and weaknesses?
  • What are the opportunities and threats in our environment?
  • What are our competitors doing?

Once you have a good understanding of your situation, you can start to develop a theory of how you can win. This theory should be based on your strengths and weaknesses, the opportunities and threats in your environment, and the competitive landscape.

Once you have developed your theory, you need to translate it into a plan. This plan should outline the specific steps you need to take to achieve your goals.

Conclusion

Strategy is essential for success in business. It is a theory of how you will be better than your competitors at serving the customers on the playing field you have chosen.

Planning is also important, but it is not enough. You need to have a strategy to guide your planning and ensure that your activities are aligned with your goals.

If you want to be successful, don't just plan. Make sure you have a strategy.

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