A strategy is a communicable plan to maximize and sustain the most important outcomes.
The core components of this definition are:
- "Outcomes": A strategy is rooted in outcomes or objectives. If you don't have an outcome in mind, you can't create a strategy for achieving it. Try taking a taxi without telling the driver the destination.
- "Maximize and sustain": A strategy is an maximization exercise, with the intention of picking the optimal path to the destination, not just any path.
- "Plan": While a strategy is not a detailed, prescriptive plan, it is indeed a plan, in that it is an analytical consideration of resources and investments, which is intended to be executed.
- "Communicable": A strategy that is not communicated is merely an intellectual exercise. In order to be executed, a strategy must be thoughtfully communicated, socialized, and integrated into the fabric of an organization.
There are many definitions of strategy across many different sources (for instance, Michael Porter says: "the best position relative to all forces in your competitive environment" while McKinsey says: "an integrated set of actions designed to create a sustainable advantage over competitors"), but our definition is a unification of them all.
For more information, check out our article, What is Strategy?