Over past weeks and months, I have been involved in any number of discussions about strategy. It seems to me that something that on the surface seems so simple, should in fact be simple.

And I would argue that it is. To a point.

That being the case, why do so many find it hard, and why do so many ignore the necessity of clear strategies as a part of the road map to success?

It perhaps starts in the fast paced world in which we operate. Many businesses work in a rapidly changing environment and business owners and managers see strategy and planning as something that doesn’t cater for change. In fact many see it as a millstone – weeks of planning and then circumstances make the plans useless. Is it any wonder many businesses choose to just get straight in and do it?Canberra But do what, where and why? I would also ask – who wants or needs what you have to offer?

See, strategy is simple.

All you need to do now, is to write it down. If somebody else should really know what you want to do, communicate it to them. That might include your wife, your husband, your family or your employees. What about your customers? Would it be useful for them to know what you are about?

Now everyone has a reference point against which all your decisions can be tested. When you decide to take a different course of action, ask yourself “Is that what I was going to do originally? Does it fit the bill?”. If it doesn’t, either revisit what you want to really do or don’t do it.

Strategy, unlike planning, should not easily be cast aside regardless of the changing world.

Here is an example of a simple strategy.

” I will sell widgets in Canberra because nobody else can do it the way I will.”

This strategy is a great start but not quite complete. Notice though, there is no discussion as to how you will achieve your goal. That extra bit is planning.

Given that good strategy should always precede any planning, and that a good strategy is built with change in mind, I might argue that strategy should never be ignored. Good plans are built on strategy. Strategy can and should survive many versions of planning.

Getting your strategy right in an organisation where there are competing interests and priorities might prove to be a little more problematical.

And then we turn our minds to different types of strategy. Here are a few – organisational strategy, marketing strategy, brand strategy, information and computer technology strategy, communications strategy and so on.

OK, so now it is getting a bit more complicated. That’s why there are professionals out there who understand how to help you focus on the what, where and why. Professionals can’t decide your strategy, only you can do that.

accross business can guide you through the process and can help keep you on track.

That bit too is pretty simple.