Strategy is the art of going forward and not staying in the same place. The art of strategy is not so much about what you do now but where you want to go as a human being. It is about thinking about where you want to be ten, fifteen, twenty years down the road. And how you are going to get there.
Strategy is an abstract, non-specific goal. Strategy is a generic approach to reach one or more definite, long range or strategic objectives in the presence of uncertainty. It is used to enhance present performance and predict future results. Strategic planning is often part and parcel of an organization, involves identifying the resources needed for the achievement of the organization’s strategic objectives and devising a way to make them attainable. It requires a detailed analysis of all relevant circumstances.
So, what is strategy? To answer this question we need to know what it is not. What is not strategy is a game you play without any objectivity. What is not a game is practice. If your practice is not strategic you will never get anywhere.
What is strategy? The best strategy is no strategy at all. It is the consistent application of principles, the intuition that tells you what works and what will fail.
Here is an example; A player in a game of Monopoly moves from one property to another, acquiring property and selling it to earn money. Each time she does this, she has to update her strategy to find out what works and what does not. She cannot just keep buying properties because that just gives her the same income and there is nothing to gain by doing that. Therefore, she must have a better idea of what will generate her an income.
This is the essence of strategy. You are playing a game and your strategy is to buy the right properties when you see opportunities. The game does not care whether you win or lose; it only cares about the fact that you are alive. Strategy can be either success or failure.
Now back to the original question, “What is strategy?” What strategy is right for you will depend on your personality. Some people like the challenge of working with numbers while others like the feeling of controlling their own destiny. Others like risks and others prefer to be conservative.
What is strategy? It is the ability to think rationally through the chaos of an unpredictable game. It is the ability to remain calm when others are panicking and searching for an exit. Above all, it is the ability to retain your sanity when all of the other variables are against you.
What is strategy? It is the way you make a profit out of playing the game. It is the knowledge that you can buy a property for less than you should because you bought when everybody was fearful of the housing bubble and everybody else saw that there was going to be a big crash. It is the knowledge that you can get out of a high interest rate mortgage before you lose your house.
What is strategy? It is the knowledge of when to play and why you are playing. It is the knowledge of which horses to bet in a three horse race and which horses to sit on in a four horse race. It is the knowledge of the odds. It is playing the game correctly and knowing when to walk away.
What is strategy? It is the key to beating the odds. Knowing how to strategize so that you maximize your profits and minimize your losses. Playing the long game and playing it smart.
What is strategy? I think it is more important that you know and understand the rules of the game. If you have a strategy, then you can beat the odds. If you don’t have a strategy, you might as well be playing Russian roulette. You can’t win.