MANAGEMENT is efficiency in climbing the ladder of success; LEADERSHIP determines whether the ladder is leaning against the right wall - Stephen Covey

Monday, February 13, 2006

Strategy & Strategy Evaluation

The term Strategy has been so widely used for varied purposes that it has lost any clearly defined meaning. As most of you are aware, the concept of strategy has been borrowed from the military and adapted for use in business. Strategy is a term that comes from the Greek strategia, meaning "generalship." In the military, strategy often refers to maneuvering troops into position before the enemy is actually engaged in an attack. Strategy also refers to the means by which policy is effected.

Strategy according to Professor George Steiner is that which top management does that is of great importance to the organization. Further, Professor Mintzberg defines Strategy as a plan, a "how," a means of getting from here to there. He also says “Strategy is perspective, that is, vision and direction.”

Well, what then is STRATEGY???? Strategy is all these (4Ps) — it is Perspective, Position, Plan, and Pattern. I recently read an article which stated that Strategy is one element in a four-part structure. First are the ends to be obtained. Second are the strategies for obtaining them, the ways in which resources will be deployed. Third are tactics, the ways in which resources that have been deployed are actually used or employed. Fourth and last are the resources themselves, the means at our disposal. Thus it is that strategy and tactics bridge the gap between ends and means.

Strategy Evaluation is all about ensuring that the path laid out has been walked (or atleast traversed through) and also ensuring that you walk the right path! Basically, the evaluation aspect of Strategy should not be a rote exercise…it should be a consultative & an inclusive process wherein the real hurdles / inconsistencies should be made note of & action (preventive / corrective) duly taken. To ensure a fair evaluation Strategy must be:
a) Consistent – It must not present mutually inconsistent goals & policies
b) Responsive – It must be responsive to external environment & to critical changes
c) Competitive – It must provide for the creation / maintenance of a comparative advantage in its chosen area of activity
d) Feasible – It must be do-able!

Well, I guess its time corporates paid attention to the evaluation aspect rather than the creation aspect!


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