“This workshop helped me gain a true understanding of strategy. It moved strategy away from being the latest buzz word to being a way of operating through life.”
The above quote was taken from a participant’s evaluation during a recent Applied Strategic Thinking session conducted by CMOE. It stood out to me because I hadn’t realized that the term “strategy” had developed into an overused buzz word used in the business world. After some doing some research, I quickly discovered that this participant’s statement was correct. There are hundreds of workshops and learning solutions on the topic of business strategy, and thousands upon thousands of books, blogs, and articles about this topic, as well. It is clear that a good portion of the information available is misusing the term “strategy.” So what was it that differentiates all the available information on strategy from CMOE’s information? Perhaps this participant said it best with the phrase, “a way of operating through life.” As I scanned a number of sources, I noticed that most of the material suggests that strategy is simply forward thinking. CMOE’s concept of strategy is more defined and well-rounded. True strategy involves learning from the patterns and lessons from the past (yours or others), thinking and formulating a defined path forward, and acting with boldness and courage as you implement your strategy. Each of the three elements are necessary to becoming a strategic force. This form of strategy can be applied in all areas of life as you identify opportunities and face that come your way.
Next time you hear someone use the word “strategy,” process the thought and consider if it’s being used in the right context or has been used inappropriately as a convenient, catchy word. Strategy is not destined for the buzzword graveyard, so take some time to understand what it means.