What is strategy?
What is strategy?

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What is strategy?

1 Definition of strategy

You’ll start the course with two activities. The first helps you to generate some ideas about the word strategy.

Activity 2 will get you to look at the term strategy through the lens of organisations.

Activity 1 First thoughts about strategy

Timing: Spend approximately 30 minutes on this activity.

People talk about strategy on a daily basis. It is the central term of this course too. How would you define it? Try to explain it by using different synonyms and examples from your life experience.

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Discussion

How did you get on? Perhaps you wrote about something to do with long-term planning or the overall direction of your activities. Also, it is possible that you explained the word strategy by using such words as mission, vision and path.

Activity 2 Strategy of an organisation

Timing: Spend approximately 35 minutes on this activity.

Now try to explain the term strategy in regard to organisations.

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Discussion

You might have written that strategy is about how an organisation matches its internal strengths with external opportunities (e.g. a small, high-quality bakery producing hand-crafted loaves at a premium price rather than attempting to compete in the mass market). You might have emphasised the way that strategy is about a sense of purpose, even to the point where an organisation will try to change its customers’ behaviour. This kind of mission driven strategy is most commonly associated with non-profit-making organisations, such as those in education and the arts. But you can also find it in the commercial world. Think of the retailer IKEA’s revolutionary approach to selling furniture and household goods, which depends on its customers’ patient cooperation.

Another useful way to understand strategy, which you might have mentioned, is to see it as a consistent pattern of behaviour in order to achieve your objectives.

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