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Strategy (5): Strategy is about plans (part 2)

This is the second part of the fifth post in a series* – start here.

Definition of Strategy (as a skill or activity):

Strategy is the practice of making, implementing and reviewing big-picture plans (strategies) with the intention of increasing the chances or speed at which you’ll achieve your major goals.

Strategic plans provide structure

Planning is also about structuring work. For a given goal (say, “We’re going to build a house”):

  • Plans make things specific: “a house” becomes “this house”;
  • Plans map the journey: “this is how we’ll build it”;
  • Plans make the process more efficient: “We’ll start with the foundations; we’ll lay the pipes before we lay the concrete; we don’t need the windows on site until we’ve built the walls.”
  • Plans set people free to do their part of the work independently;
  • They help us see where we’re going to need to communicate most clearly (usually as we approach the edges: where walls meet ceilings, where handovers occur);
  • And they give us a frame of reference to check the work and hold each other to account.

*If I call it the sixth part I’ll be out of sync with the numbering in the title and it will get confusing

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