Many have historically confused strategy with tactics or other thought processes, particularly in business. Almost three hundred years ago, legendary samurai Miyamoto Musashi wrote the “Ground Book” as one of the “Book of Five Rings”. In it he implies that strategy is the, well, ground work of everything that we do. It’s the ‘road map’ we use to chart a course both personally and professionally.
In today’s rapidly changing world however, I suggest that strategy is as much about being the cartographer (the map maker) as it is about charting a course. Our world, particularly in business today, is full of uncharted territory and unforeseen changes to the topography.
Strategy is indeed about charting an accurate course from where we are today to where we want to be but the true strategist keeps an eye on the sudden changes to the map and knows when, where & how to adjust.
“Confusing purpose with strategy is bad news for your firm and your career.”
– Aligning Strategy and Sales, by Frank V. Cespedes (p.56)