Thursday, 24 January 2013

We do it every day, but do we do it well?

Strategy is something we all engage in every day. We set goals, and we decide what to do to achieve them. We may do it consciously or unconsciously. Our resulting strategy may be to sit back and see what happens, or it may be to proactively take actions we think will get us what we want. We may reason our actions through carefully, or we may make decisions on the fly. Our decision and actions may take us closer to our goals or they may not.

All of this is in the nature of doing strategy.

However we do it, there is no way to avoid it. So the only choice we have is about how well we do it.

The maxim:

An unexamined life is not worth living
might have been written about strategy. In a commercial context we might paraphrase this as "an unexamined business is not worth leading".

If we are going to do strategy well, we must think about 
  1. how we examine our circumstances - are we truthful with ourselves or do we foster comfortable and familiar delusions,
  2. how we make decisions - are we rational or do we let negative emotions and whims get in the way,
  3. how we act - do we prepare appropriately and are we willing to make the effort and persevere, and
  4. how we reflect - do we take the time to reflect on how we'll we've done on steps (1) to (3) and whether we're in fact achieving our goals and that they're satisfying us?