Build a Strategy that Addresses Your Gnarliest Challenges
Too many “strategies” produced by companies and national governments are weak, lacking astute diagnosis and actions with any bite. To counter this phenomenon, we must recognize what a strategy actually is. The essence of a strategy is a design for actions required to meet an important challenge or opportunity. Whether in chess, war, business, or politics, the basic idea is to focus energy and resources where they will do the most good — on the enemy or opponent’s weakness, or where the opportunity for gain is the greatest. A strategy is not a list of aspirations or ambitions, nor is it a list of all the things the committee members think are good ideas. Whether on the chessboard, the battlefield, a political campaign, or in a business, effective strategies are designs of coordinated action aimed at overcoming specific challenges. Effective strategy is about what is critically important, not about everything that everybody does or wants to do.