This is not a strategy

Graham Kenny provides his thoughts on the subject on HBR here

One of the best bits of advice I ever received is that, when scrutinised, most strategies aren’t really strategic in the slightest. In fact, they’re most-likely to be objectives, or actions, or activities. 

A strategy is not:

  • A presentation
  • A chart
  • A metric
  • A percentage
  • A goal
  • A sales target
  • A model
  • A diagram
  • An aspiration
  • An objective
  • A survey

A strategy is the best possible way to achieve a desired outcome, and you should be able to articulate it in a simple sentence. Everything else is either the means (to help deliver on the strategy), or the end (the result, the outcome).

If you can’t articulate your strategy simply and clearly, it probably isn’t a strategy.

When a survey really isn’t needed…

I’m often amazed with some of the reasons given to justify running surveys. More often than not, they happen either to reinforce a point of view, or simply because people don’t know what they’re doing, or where to look for the right answer. Or, they simply don’t want to accept the truth staring them in the face.

This is one of those surveys. Walk into any agency and have a look around. Have a look at the management team, the MD, the CEO. You’ll see that the survey is correct, but again, I’m not sure it was even needed in the first place.

The good thing is, the industry is going through a massive period of change, and that can only be a good thing, right?