Goals are not Strategies

From Weekly I/O#82

Setting goals is not a strategy. Focus on vision, mission, and values without identifying the key challenge and designing a coherent plan to overcome it is not enough.

Book: Good Strategy Bad Strategy

Many companies assume that stating a list of objectives and key results (OKRs) and having a vision and mission statement is equivalent to having a strategy. However, strategy is not just about setting goals. It's about identifying specific challenges or obstacles that need to be conquered and then creating a plan of action to achieve the desired outcome.

Good strategy requires three key elements: a diagnosis of the critical challenge, a guiding policy for overcoming it, and a set of coherent actions to carry out that policy. Statements of desire like "we will grow our sales 20% this year" or "we must put our customers first" alone do not identify the concrete path forward.

I take this as a personal reflection as well. While I set personal OKRs every quarter and year, it's also important to document my strategies and thought processes for achieving those goals.

And lastly, I believe the key to developing exceptional strategies at both individual and company levels is gaining insights distilled from transformed knowledge.

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