Business Strategy

43: Are Strategy and Strategic Planning the Same Thing

February 29, 2024 Steve Coughran Season 1 Episode 43
Business Strategy
43: Are Strategy and Strategic Planning the Same Thing
Show Notes

Welcome to the Business Strategy podcast with your host Steve Coughran. Today, we're delving into the question: Are Strategy and Strategic Planning the Same Thing? It's a topic that often gets conflated in the business world, leading to costly misunderstandings. Strategy, arguably one of the most misunderstood disciplines in business, is often mistakenly equated with planning. Many companies find themselves locked in fierce competition, scrambling for morsels of profit in crowded markets, a perilous race to the bottom. But let's set the record straight. Strategy and planning are not interchangeable terms. Planning is about allocating resources, determining costs, and outlining activities to achieve objectives. On the other hand, strategy is about making tough choices, crafting an integrated set of decisions to position a company for success. Sadly, many leaders opt for planning over strategy because it feels safer and more familiar. They mistake budgets for strategies, focusing on financial projections rather than a coherent vision for winning in the marketplace. The discomfort of strategic decision-making often leads to a retreat to the comfort of routine planning. But here's the truth: Strategy starts with a dream, a shared vision that includes all stakeholders, especially the customer. It involves making bold choices, even if it means dismantling the existing model to build something better. Look at the cautionary tale of Blockbuster versus Netflix. While Blockbuster focused on planning, Netflix was busy strategizing, redefining the industry and solving customer problems in innovative ways. So, if your company isn't actively crafting a strategy to differentiate itself and deliver unique value, it risks becoming the next Blockbuster. It's time to prioritize strategy over planning, to define clear objectives and make the tough choices necessary to win in today's competitive landscape. Join me as we explore how to navigate this strategic journey and unlock the path to sustainable success.

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