Good question! Many business people won’t ask the question out loud because they are too embarrassed to admit that they aren’t sure what it means. The logic goes like this: ”Having a strategy is very important, so how could I admit to being unclear about something so important?” What I have learned is that identifying and articulating strategy is not as simple as it might seem. ”The strategy” was something in our CEO’s head, in my early years at FedEx, and I wanted a way to extract his vision and direction for the company without having to spend hours prying it from his mind. Fortunately, I knew he was an admirer of Michael Porter (Harvard Business School management guru), and felt Porter was the expert on Strategy. From that important information, I was able to develop a team within my marketing group whose only role was to define and articulate “the strategy” for FedEx. Yes, it was actually possible to put Fred Smith’s complex thinking into a plan that could be distilled down into executable tactics for each operating unit of the company.
In my next post, I will define strategy and discuss why it is so important that a strategy be clear and precise. Click here if you would like more information about Calade Partners.