At Six Disciplines, a core business process we have business leaders learn is that of strategy formulation - and, of course, execution.
But what exactly is strategy?
According to Henry Mintzberg:
"Strategies are to organizations what blinkers are to horses."
"Strategy doesn’t necessarily come first (‘think’ then ‘do’): it’s not that simple a divide. Strategy and Execution intertwine, so stop separating them in your head.
“Virtually everything that has been written about strategy-making depicts it as a deliberate process. First we think, then we act. We formulate, then we implement. The progression seems so perfectly sensible. Why would anybody want to proceed differently?" he writes.
He goes on: "While it is certainly true that many intended strategies are ill conceived, I believe that the problem often lies one step beyond, in the distinction we make between formulation and implementation, the common assumption that thought must be independent of [and precede] action…Smart strategists appreciate that they cannot always be smart enough to think through everything in advance.”
Why do so few other get this? Including some of those billed as the biggest experts on strategy in our time?
BOTTOMLINE: "Breaking the distinction between Strategy and Execution frees leaders up to be more agile and flexible."