What do you mean by ‘strategy’ – Part 1

The strategy development process means many different things, what does it mean to you?

As senior leaders within our organisations we are all challenged to be strategic in our thinking, and we have explored the meaning of strategy in another post. So if we have a better understanding of strategy as a concept how do businesses formulate good strategic plans? I wanted to revisit the true meaning of ‘strategy’ and to then follow it up with a review of how organisations formulate strategic plans. I remember what I studied during my degree but that was 20 odd years ago, and still I remembered the in-depth debate on marketing strategy on my master’s degree course – but that is nearly a decade ago. So over 2013 I want to look at strategy again because when you are asked to think strategically you need to understand what both parties mean by the term strategy and how it’s formulated – there needs to be a meeting of minds if you are going to deliver against each other’s expectations.

So this is the first in a series of ten posts that look at the process of strategy formulation.

According to Mintzberg (1998) there are roughly ten different schools of thought on the strategy formulation process. Each of these will be examined in a little more detail.

  1. The Design School – Strategy Formation as a Process of Conception
  2. The Planning School – Strategy Formation as a Formal Process
  3. The Positioning School – Strategy Formation as an Analytical Process
  4. The Entrepreneurial School – Strategy Formation as a Visionary Process
  5. The Cognitive School – Strategy Formation as a Mental Process
  6. The Learning School – Strategy Formation as an Emergent Process
  7. The Power School – Strategy Formation as a Process of Negotiation
  8. The Cultural School – Strategy Formation as a Collective Process
  9. The Environmental School – Strategy Formation as a Reactive Process
  10. The Configuration School – Strategy Formation as a Process of Transformation

 

Shaun

Feb 2013

Shaun Williams

I am Head of Data & Insight for a major UK Charity having worked in the non-profit sector for nearly twenty years. I have a real interest in marketing strategy, innovation, data analysis, customer insight, and behavioural science.

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