Saturday, October 31, 2009

What is Strategy?

Previously, I have shared why student representative councils lack strategic thinking skills. Hope you didn't feel offended but please thoroughly consider my points. Anyway, today I want to share about strategy and its context in student organizations.

When you guys see a football match or a chess game you would see some people take the defensive game plan, and others would be very aggressive in trying to score goals and etc. That is strategy.
Strategy concerns more with 'why'. It concerns with making the smaller action steps come together to help you achieve with your ultimate goal. For example, a football team would take an aggressive strategy when the opponents defences seems tired or weakened.

Strategy differs from tactics, tactics is action steps. It concerns with how and what you do. A football team with an aggressive attacking strategy would change their positions with more players becoming strikers and etc.

"a strategy is the pattern or plan that integrates an organization's major goals, policies, and action sequences into a cohesive whole." As James Brian Quinn indicated in The Strategy Process: Concepts and Contexts,

If you don't have a strategy, you will waste your resources on things that don't really help you on achieving your ultimate goal.

If your strategy does not help you in:
  • planning effectively
  • helps you allocate resources (man power) wisely

...then that strategy of yours is useless.

Strategy is long term. When I say long term I mean 3 to 5 Years. That's why I have problem believing the competency of the MPP when they have a new vision and mission every year. That's why they have no progress. They change their goal, when their supposed to be building on the foundation of their seniors.

For other student leaders, strategy at its best details 3 - 5years of the club's future direction. Any less than that is just normal planning which doesn't make you special. I even doubt the ability of student councils to plan a year ahead. I know of many student councils that use funds to go holiday at a resort to think of a 'strategy'. Yeah, right...

Thinking long term is an important factor in becoming a leader. Imagine what would happen if our previous Prime Ministers didn't think of investing in the citizen's education, setting up long term policies, creating business through GLCs and etc. What would Malaysia be without PETRONAS, Proton, and FELDA? You might complain stuff, but without them how would Malaysia's economy be like? Leaders for tomorrow have a big responsibility. We are those leaders.


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