I love strategy. I studied strategy. I read and learn daily about strategy. I try to understand companies’ strategies and why they succeed or fail. Without a good strategy, you will never be successful. But a good strategy is not a guarantee for success.
Strategy is like playing chess. You’ll need to think a few steps ahead; otherwise, you’ll never win. Before you start playing, you need to have an idea of how you’re going to play. If your plan is to react to what you’re opponent is doing, you’re already behind before you even start.
Strategy is also one of the reasons why I love playing golf. Yes, it’s a great feeling to flush a ball and seeing it land on the fairway or green. But that in itself is not enough. Understanding the course, knowing your strengths and weaknesses, understanding where you can take risks and score, and then executing against your plan makes it even more fun. Let alone the beautiful nature you’re often in.
Good strategy needs execution to be successful. Your strategy can be as good as anyone’s, but if you’re not able to execute your brilliant strategy, you won’t build a better business. And if you execute well, but your strategy is wrong, you won’t get anywhere neither.
That’s how I connect better business with better self and better teams. Strategy in itself is an abstract construct. Strategy and execution together is the winning combination, a combination that depends on us, human beings.
The principles of strategy in itself are strikingly simple. So why does it go wrong so often? Because of us, human beings.
Strategy defines how you will deliver on your vision.
YOU are the critical element in that sentence. You decide what your vision will be and determine how you will execute and deliver so that your vision is becoming a reality. Better business starts with you (and your team).
Over the next weeks, I plan to write more about the elements closely connected to good strategy. But I’m not going to make it a strategy lecture. I will keep it simple and understandable. And will debunk a few myths along the way.
My vision is to paint a picture of ‘good strategy’ that will challenge your thinking. Either by looking at familiar elements in an unconventional way or introducing elements you never really considered to be part of strategy.
Do not make a mistake and think that strategy is only for big companies or strategic departments full of smart people. It’s not. Strategy matters very much in your life, whether you’re part of a team, whether you’re a freelancer, or in your personal life. You may never have thought of it that way, so let’s start by taking that myth out of the way.
Your turn: what do you think of when you think of strategy? How does it matter in your life and work?