Bad strategy

Chess strategyWe’ve all seen it. Perhaps even been in a session.

Endless discussion leading to a watered down list of things that need to be done that are then dressed up under the name strategy. If it’s a long list we call it long term strategy.

Sadly but rather predictably, the session is repeated a year later with not much different happening in between.
Just because it’s called a strategy day doesn’t mean that strategy is what comes out out if.
Most often the failure of strategy is the failure to decide what not to do. Both individuals and companies have too many choices and unless we ruthlessly cut out many things so that we can focus on what is truly important and differentiated, we end up with a lowest common denominator approach to life and business.
Richard Rumelt sums it well in this McKinsey article.