Strategy: What Does It Mean and Why Does It Matter?

Move over cloud, strategy has become the hottest new buzzword in business.

If something is broken, just sprinkle a little strategy on it and, POW!, problem solved.

Like with cloud, there are a lot of misconceptions about what strategy is and how to use it. A quick Google search will tell you that strategy is a high-level plan used to achieve goals. But it’s more than that. With limited time and resources available to achieve your goals, having a solid strategy is critically important.


Here are three things you can do to effectively implement or validate your organization’s strategy.

  • 1

    Define: Decide where you are and where you want to go

    Before you can implement your strategy, you have to define your organization’s current state and your desired future state. Think of this like a map for a road trip. Where are you now, and where do you want to go? Ask yourself, “Is this realistic or achievable?” This roadmap will help you and your company stay on course through your strategic journey and provide your employees and customers with a guide to where you’re headed.

  • 2

    Communicate: Paint the big picture

    Now that you’ve set a direction, it is time to communicate that vision to the organization. I firmly believe that this is the most important step. Too often, strategy is only talked about and understood by senior leadership. As a leader, it is your responsibility to lead everyone in your organization. Everyone. If you think your strategy is too complex, find a way to make it simple. Make sure you’re providing your employees with a crystal-clear picture of how they can contribute to your company’s strategy. Don’t leave it for your annual summary in December. Discuss monthly or quarterly updates in regular department meetings.

    At Zumasys, we like to use MiniGames from the book The Great Game of Business to keep employees engaged with and excited about the company’s progress.

  • 3

    Prioritize: Assess the impact

    It’s easy to say, “We need everything done, and we need it done now!” But you’d need an infinite supply of time, money, and resources at your fingertips to make that a reality. Since you don’t, you have to make a strategic plan.

    Prioritize your initiatives based on your company’s desired future state and the impact of each initiative in making that happen. To ensure that you aren’t spreading your company too thin, limit yourself to three to five strategic initiatives. Allocate your organization’s key resources to the top initiatives to ensure they are achieved.

X marks the spot

Strategy isn’t difficult; it’s about making it work for you. By following the three steps above, you can confidently “sprinkle” on strategy and get your organization to where it needs to be. Clearly defining where you are and where you want to be will help you and your employees measure your organization’s success and provide a vision for your employees of what is to come. Communicating the progress of your company’s strategic initiatives, both good and bad, will keep your employees engaged and focused on delivering the results you’re looking for.  Prioritizing the importance of your initiatives and keeping your best team on them gives you the best chance to accomplish your goals.

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How do you use strategy in your business? Tweet us!