Strategy ≠ shopping list
And why the right kind of "growth" matters
"What do you think?"
My work-friend's question was genuine. It felt awful to say what I really thought.
"It's a shopping list, not a strategy."
I've read a lot of strategies and strategic ideas by this point in my life. I've seen everything from stupendous to stupid-squared. But the one variant of bad that bothers me to no end is to mistake buying stuff for strategy-making.
If your strategy is dependent on the purchase of some new gadget or whizz-bang, then you have no strategy.
Put it the other way. If you could buy your way out of a problem on Amazon, then you wouldn't need strategy at all, would you?
Nevertheless, so many strategies and strategic-documents are wish-lists for Santa Claus to drop magic strategic problem-solving presents down chimneys in late December.
How can we spot the difference? How can we tell if our strategy is about the stuff or really about our strategy?