I dislike the phrase “strategic planning” in the first place. In our organization, I use this as the definition of strategy: “The process of ideating a bold, executable path of actions, adapted over time, which achieves our mission and vision, creating value for our business.” The “adapted over time” aspect is critical. While it is fair to say “our strategy is to win new business” – likely necessarily connected to a vision statement – to say “these are the steps we need to take to win new business” violates the Mike Tyson Law of Planning, “Everyone has a plan until they get punched in the face.” Strategy is living, constantly evolving at the behest of stimuli from the world. If I may use chess as an example, the value of one’s strategy extends all the way to the second after your opponent’s first move. Strategy cannot be stated in planning terms – take that, Merriam Webster! It’s why I use “path.” A path has width, options, variability, – and even shoulders should you need to pull over and make repairs. Interested in your thoughts on the topic.

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