How do you define strategy?

by | Sep 6, 2021

Whenever we teach and talk about creativity here at Now Go Create, we love to hear how our delegates define strategy.

The search for ‘business strategy books’ on Amazon yields over 90,000 results. One of our favourite definitions we like to share is from Greenpeace…

I heard how David McTaggart – one of the early members of Greenpeace – is said to have described how they went about doing things on a recent Radio 4 documentary:

“Go the shortest route with the least amount of energy for the greatest return” 

McTaggart was the one who took a small, embryonic organisation in the early 1970s and transformed it into a global force for change. After the nuclear testing protests, McTaggart set up International Greenpeace organisations in Britain, France and the Netherlands. He bought a trawler from the British Government, and famously re-named it The Rainbow Warrior.

“He successfully drew attention to the issues in ways that no-one had previously considered by putting himself directly at the heart of the action – in the line of fire of a whaler’s harpoon, or being rammed by a naval frigate,” says writer Emma Shortis.

Now that’s what I would call a good strategy! You can listen to the full Radio 4 documentary here.

This HBR review article on strategy defines a business strategy as:

“A business strategy is a set of guiding principles that, when communicated and adopted in the organization, generates a desired pattern of decision making. A strategy is therefore about how people throughout the organization should make decisions and allocate resources in order accomplish key objectives. A good strategy provides a clear roadmap, consisting of a set of guiding principles or rules, that defines the actions people in the business should take (and not take) and the things they should prioritize (and not prioritize) to achieve desired goals.”

How do you define strategy in the work that you do?

What I find confusing about the word strategy is that there are many different kinds of strategy. And in a lot of the work that we do here at Now Go Create is about devising PR and comms strategy, marketing strategy and creative strategy. All of these sit underneath the overall business strategy and should meet the company’s overall objectives and mission. It’s requires simplification and distillation easy enough to explain to your gran, not over-complication and confusion which the word strategy often seems to conjur up.

If you’re interested in finding out more about how we help demystify strategy, check out our open course dates here  and take a look this blog on the topic: Everything you ever wanted to know about strategy (but were afraid to ask)

Try also The Theory of Change – a free creative strategy tool.

For details of our next open Strategy training – two hours packed full of frameworks and approaches – email for dates.

Image by Tumisu from Pixabay

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