I was at a meeting last night with a group of credit unions. It was our semi-annual Peer Group 6 meeting and we had a number of presentations. Interesting the number of times the word strategy was used. It seemed to encompass a number of things is these speeches. It was like the ultimate glue that was needed to hold any direction or business plan in place. But it got me to thinking, what exactly is strategy? What does it mean?
John Ralston Saul has come up with the best definition I have ever come across. It really explains what it is and more importantly what it isn’t. When I use his definition it becomes apparent, the word strategy is being misused and misunderstood. We need to be pretty sure what it is before we start using it. So when a speaker says “this should be your strategy” they need to really understand our business. I lot of times I don’t think they do understand our business.
“The key word is strategy. Not tactics. Not the practicalities we deal with on most days. Strategy is about marrying ideas and capabilities with intuition and daring. It depends on finding the point of pivot which converts the apparently impossible into something reasonably possible.”