Perhaps the most written about question in business literature is, “What is strategy?” My father would say, “there must be more professors writing about strategy than there are fleas on a dog.”
If you are looking for a good book on the subject of strategy then I recommend, Strategy, by B.H. Lidell Hart. My favorite strategist is John Boyd. See Boyd: the Fighter Pilot Who Changed the Art of War. Both these books are high on the list of best strategy books of all time.
What is strategy? It is an interesting philosophical question. A better question for executives and managers is, What are the strategic decisions we face and how do we make them?
Every business must have three things to be successful: good leadership, good strategic decision making, and the ability to execute.
The strategic decisions that executives face are revealed in a survey by McKinsey consulting. Product, service, geographic expansion, and infrastructure account for over two thirds of all strategic decisions. How we make these decisions determines how good our strategy is.
Good strategies require a good framing, good process, good tools, good design, and mutual learning. See a recent talk by Steve Barrager, “The Collaborative Design Process and Decision Engineering” for an overview of how they come together.
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