People's behaviour is largely guided by tools which are unseen.
A strong brand, a powerful story, an idea that spreads - these are not physical artefacts that you can easily point to; and yet they move people emotionally and inspire motivated action.
Much in the same way, a good strategy is one that inspires and drives co-ordinated action. It moves people and fires them up to collaboratively solve a particularly tricky issue as one.
Along with a strong brand, a good strategy is a powerful asset for a business.
If well-designed, it's the difference between a business that thrives and flourishes versus one that slowly degrades into irrelevance.
It really should be thought of as a tool, a tool that opens up the future. To do that though, it needs to be effective in its ability to drive coherent action within an organisation.
If it fails to do this, then it's poorly designed and useless.
Too many organisations accept poorly-designed and useless strategy as being okay - thinking that somehow their poor strategy is going to magically deliver the results that they hope for without questioning the actual build-quality of the strategy tool they have created.
But what you put in, is what you get out.
Shit strategy just ends up creating confusion, wasted productivity and a loss of opportunity.
If your strategy is then either:
- not appropriate for the stage you are in as a business,
- requires more resources and capacity to action that you can give to it,
- is not crystal clear and measurable,
- doesn't get widespread buy-in and drive coherent organisational action...
...then it's pretty much useless as an effective tool and you would be well-advised to throw it out come up with a new. better-designed one.