When developing their strategy, almost everyone overlooks a critical first step – pausing to read the dictionary. Why does this matter? Because if you can’t clearly define the word “strategy” then you can’t define a clear strategy.

So what does strategy mean?

A critical definition is “a plan of action to achieve a major aim.” With this definition in mind it becomes far easier to develop strategies that actually deliver results.

Firstly it highlights the importance of clearly defining the major aims the strategy needs to achieve. In other words the odds of hitting a target significantly increase if you can clearly see the target.

Secondly it clarifies that a strategic plan also needs to be an action plan. A common misconception is that getting into the details of action is tactical rather than strategic. However it’s the size of the aim that delineates between strategic and tactical – so determining actions to achieve major aims is a critical part of strategic planning.

As for the definition of definition, it highlights why reading (or Googling / Siriing / Alexaring / Bixbying...) the dictionary can sharpen any area of focus – such as strategy, branding, quality, service or digital.

After all, if you don’t make your aim “definite, distinct, or clear” then the suggested solutions are all too likely to be “indecisive, vague or hazy.”

Which clearly isn’t the aim.

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