Do you ever get confused when you hear people using the word ‘strategic’?
You certainly wouldn’t be alone, research shows that over 85% of businesses do not understand the meaning or the application of the word.
Our own experience supports this, in fact we are surprised the figure is that low!
In short, the word ‘strategic’ refers to anything and everything pertaining to strategy. And a strategy is nothing more than a plan, when you hear people refer to ‘strategic’ they usually (or at least should) mean doing something in a planned way; e.g. ‘strategic’ marketing.
Unfortunately, the confusion is not helped when jobs are advertised as ‘strategic’ positions. Does this mean that some jobs are planned and linked to strategy where others (’non-strategic’ positions) are random and unplanned?
Not at all. This confusion comes from the structure in some organisations which splits roles between ‘strategic’ and ‘operational’.
Although this is now very much an outdated way of thinking, many organisations/businesses still employ this terminology. Indeed some universities even still teach this terminology!
Current thinking is that every role within an organisation is strategic, that it serves a planned purpose. Of course, not everyone can (or should) fulfil a decision-making role but the modern structure does not ask this.
Instead it splits roles between strategic direction, strategic management and strategic delivery. Everyone has a strategic purpose. Everyone’s role is planned.
At Cowan Global Consulting we don’t like confusion any more than you do. That is why we help you with establishing and delivering strategies that are economical, effective and efficient while ensuring they are written in plain language so everyone not only knows their role, they also understand.
Why not give us a call and see what we can do to help you make sense of strategy—in English!
You can read the November edition of the Cowan Global Newsletter here.
© Jim Cowan, Cowan Global Limited, 2010