A Goal is Not a Strategy

It is quite common to see statements like:

“Our strategy is to become the preeminent firm in our community.”

“Our strategy is to disrupt our industry.”

“Our strategy is to disintermediate the industry’s supply chain.”

A sole business owner, might say “my strategy is to make a living doing the best I can.”

At best these are poorly framed objectives in part because they are definitionally devoid of rigour and no less important, they offer no sense of guidance for day-to-day decision-making. Statements like this are poorly defined goals that offer no operational guidance but only describe an ill-defined destination. They are not strategies, they only become strategic when they are extended to describe how the goal is intended to be accomplished. That is, a clearly defined goal is an element of a strategy, it is not the strategy.

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