Strategy is a high-level plan to achieve one or more goals under conditions of uncertainty. In the sense of the “art of the general”, which included several subsets of skills including “tactics”, siegecraft, logistics etc.
Strategy is important because the resources available to achieve these goals are usually limited. Strategy generally involves setting goals, determining actions to achieve the goals, and mobilizing resources to execute the actions. A strategy describes how the ends (goals) will be achieved by the means (resources). Strategy can be intended or can emerge as a pattern of activity as the organization adapts to its environment or competes. It involves activities such as strategic planning and strategic thinking.
Strategic management provides overall direction to the enterprise and involves specifying the organisation’s objectives, developing policies and plans designed to achieve these objectives, and then allocating resources to implement the plans. Academics and practicing managers have developed numerous models and frameworks to assist in strategic decision making in the context of complex environments and competitive dynamics. Strategic management is not static in nature; the models often include a feedback loop to monitor execution and inform the next round of planning.
Strategic thinking is defined as a mental or thinking process applied by an individual in the context of achieving success in a game or other endeavor. As a cognitive activity, it produces thought. When applied in an organisational strategic management process, strategic thinking involves the generation and application of unique business insights and opportunities intended to create competitive advantage for a firm or organisation. It can be done individually, as well as collaboratively among key people who can positively alter an organisation’s future. Group strategic thinking may create more value by enabling a proactive and creative dialogue, where individuals gain other people’s perspectives on critical and complex issues. This is regarded as a benefit in highly competitive and fast-changing business landscapes.
We have worked mainly with the Strategic Learning method from Willie Pietersen.