It might come as a bit of a surprise, but I've chatted to a fair number of leaders of fairly large companies that tell me that they don't have a business or brand strategy, and have never had a business or brand strategy.
They cannot point to to a place in the future where they would like to take the organisation.
They don't have a strategic roadmap of how they'd like to get there.
Being a professional who plies his trade helping organisations clarify what they want from the future, and figuring out how they might get there - I obviously find it fascinating as to why you would consciously choose to operate a business without such an important tool.
Why would you operate a business without a properly thought-out plan?
Here's the thing that most business leaders perhaps don't realise - just because you don't possess a formally constituted document outlining what it is you are trying to achieve in the future - doesn't mean that the business doesn't have a particular future - created by an undefined way of working - that it is actively creating.
Whether you actively design it or not, whether you are aware of it or not - your organisation is heading towards a particular future state.
By choosing not to formally structure and define your strategy, what you are essentially doing is handing over the future of your business to whim, or chance, or to people who will manipulate and direct the business for their own ends.
Without a doubt, your business has a future strategy; it just might not be clear as to what it is and who's really driving it.
The future of the business is then being directed either by your own unstructured musings, or otherwise - most probably, by influential employees, or powerful stakeholders who have their own egotistical interests at heart.
They have a very clear picture of what they would like the future of the business to look like - and as a leader, without recognising and challenging these positions of internal power, the future of the organisation is literally held hostage by their desires.
Saying that your organisation does not have a strategy - is factually incorrect.
Every single company has a particular future that it is actively creating through its daily operation - you can consciously understand, redesign and control it, or it will be created and controlled for you.
Given the choice and the realisation that it is possible, it seems illogical not to formally map out where it is that you are, or want to be heading as an organisation.