Strategy: What is it, really?

I’ve recently been thinking a lot about strategy; it’s November and you’re supposed to think about strategy now.  Why?  Because I’m getting ready for next year.  But what is strategy, really?  I’ve heard people say, “We’re strategic thinkers.” What does that mean?  Are you shaping the future?  Making strategic decisions? I still didn’t quite get it.  So I looked up strategy on Wikipedia:

strategy is a plan of action designed to achieve a specific goal. Strategy is all about gaining (or being prepared to gain) a position of advantage over adversaries or best exploiting emerging possibilities. As there is always an element of uncertainty about the future, strategy is more about a set of options (“strategic choices”) than a fixed plan.

I’ve thought about it more and now I realize… Strategy is really about Opportunity.  Being ready for an Opportunity to come your way—anticipating that opportunity and being ready to act because you are prepared.  Have you ever walked in NYC?  Do you walk with the crowd or through the crowd?  I walk through the crowd, because I have a mission and am going to get there.  So you know what I do?  I look for opportunity and then exploit it—if there’s an opening in the throngs of passing people, I speed up and take it over. Strategy isn’t some fancy thing—it’s about being ready to grab an opening (that you know will come) faster, better and more smoothly than anyone else.  Opportunity.  It makes more sense out of strategy.

JRI Consulting, LLC