It is Perhaps Easier to Observe a Strategy than it is to Create one – but it is an Illusion

Perhaps the three biggest complaints I have heard from organisations as we start strategy creation process is that

1 – Our organisation does not have a strategy – but the competitors do

2 – We don’t have a strategy now – but we did in the past

3 – We’ve done all this before – but nothing happened

From these comments I have drawn the conclusion that it is perhaps easier to ‘observe’ a strategy in another organisation or on the past than it is to ‘create, realise and live’ it in your own organisation. Strategy takes time to implement and to permeate through the whole organisation. It arrives and is implemented in small chunks. It ebbs and flows and pops up in different areas on different days and gradually takes hold. As we look back the journey we took looks clearer and it is easier to take the next steps. In short it is often easier to see where we and others have been rather than where we are going.

When we look at supermarkets, airlines, social media and IT companies we can often see their ‘observed’ strategies very clearly. We know where they are in the market, where they want to be and how they appear to be achieving their vision through the articulation and implementation of their strategy. These ‘observed’ strategies are sometimes an illusion as they more clearly show where the organisation has come from rather than where it is going……

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