Buzzwords: Anyone For Strategic Scrabble?

Strategy can quickly get confusing.  That is because it is is written about by academics and consultants, rather sales managers.  Here we try to offer clarity – using some plain speaking to describe the real essence of strategy.

Strategy has its own language – complete with buzzwords, and jargon.  That is fine if you are playing scrabble, but managers don’t run their businesses with a dictionary on the desk.

Here is a selection of some of the most popular strategy buzzwords:

  • Competitive advantage
  • Core competence
  • Focus
  • Diversification
  • Segmentation
  • Differentiation
  • Strategic Intent
  • Strategic Vision
  • Strategic Focus
  • Strategic Ambition
  • Market Strategy
  • Product Strategy
  • Strategic Business Unit
  • Profit pool
  • Mission
  • Core Competencies
  • Diversification
  • Portfolio Management
  • Market Attractiveness & Amenability
  • Market Entry Strategy
  • Dogs, Stars, Cash Cows. etc.
  • Strategic Inflection
  • Situational Analysis
  • Strategic Goals
  • Strategic Positioning
  • Product Life Cycle
  • Strategic Alliance
  • Blue Ocean

Your challenge is to use as many of these words as possible in your next sales meeting and watch how eyes glaze over.  The challenge is that while managers need to be more strategic, that does not mean that they have to become less plain speaking.  Indeed the opposite is true.

Great strategies are easily communicate and clearly understood – otherwise they have no hope of being successfully executed.  With simplicity in mind here is another way of defining strategy:

strategy is about success

 

Or here is a fuller definition of the essence of strategy:

What is strategy?

Strategy when distilled to its essence is about success, winning and growth.  More to the point it is about how your organization (business unit, department, function or team) will win, succeed and grow.  It does not get much clearer than that!

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