Strategy & Strategery

What's the difference?


On a daily basis, I am asked to describe what I do. Strategy is really just applying a process, concept, or procedure to ensure results. Some of the subtle differences include being able to apply Strategy across multiple disciplines. A lot of what I do and present to most people seems counter-intuitive. I approach each client and their 'problems' with a fresh mindset each time. What works for some doesn't work for others. Sometimes what worked last time, won't work this time. I caught a glimpse of an article by Forbes that classified 5 core areas of 'Strategy versus Strategery'.

  1. If the 'strategy' meeting you're holding was called ten minutes ago it's a strategery meeting
  2. If you're developing the plan at midnight on your 10th cup of strong coffee, it's probably strategery
  3. If three participants in the meeting are dialing in separately by phone to discuss it, it's strategery
  4. If the 'strategic plan' needs to be implemented at 9am tomorrow morning and completed by 10am it's a strategic plan

I often use this article with companies at the first meeting to have a discussion of how much 'Strategery' is occurring. I want to focus on strategy- and from my perspective, the fundamentals (or issues) that arise when scaling or executing a corporate initiative typically can be categorized into 3 areas:

  • People - Who are the key people (or people missing) - their roles and commitment to execution
  • Process - What are the steps and follow through (or that are missing)
  • Technology - Where are gaps, what things can be automated, and how quickly can these tools be implemented to achieve success

For example, if you are trying to sell a product or a service, I will discourage you from a 10-page flyer explaining it in detail. I may encourage you to have a short video, that includes a call to action to then download the detailed flyer. I will create context for conversations and a dialogue of objectivity. The fundamentals of a solid strategy start with NOT drinking your own Kool-Aid. In most cases, I am thrust into a company or a team where they make the grandiose assumption that there is no other product, service, or solution than what they offer. Given our landscape- this is not impossible- but it is improbable.

I try not to be unkind as I deliver words that are sometimes hard to hear. I do not ever discourage someone - but I offer them insight as to the market- and I provide them with an audit to show the other products that are similar. It's often a tough conversation, met with denial, and strong dissent. I have learned that people that are willing to take feedback and pivot along the way are more likely to be able to secure funding.


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