You’ve done the hard work of clarifying the win for your organization.  And let’s say you’ve even clarified the win for each of the individual components of your operation.  And let’s say that you’ve actually clarified the ultimate win.  You know what your preferred future looks like.  You know where you ultimately want to end up…your vision is clear.

The key to whole deal though is that knowing where you want to go, what your preferred future is, is only the beginning.  And I mean the very beginning.  It’s good that you know where you’d like to go.  But it’s not enough.  The next and incredibly important step is to begin to determine how you’re going to get there.  And this is all about strategy.  Developing a strategy is the piece that few of us ever really work through.  We know where we’d like to go.  And in every other area of life we think about how to get from here to there.  But few of us ever really drill down on this key element in this most important area.

So where do we begin?  Where does the development of strategy begin?  It begins with choosing what not to do.  Huh?  You heard me right.  Turns out that "the essence of strategy is choosing what not to do."  Where you’re unwilling to say no to the things that just don’t fit…you’re unlikely to end up in the preferred future you have in mind.

Want more on the idea?  Check out Michael Porter’s great article What is strategy.

The Essence of Strategy