Imagine you live in the middle ages. It’s been a hard Winter and the food has run out in your village.
A bunch of responsible folk get together to decide what to do.
You may hope that Spring will come early but, as we all know, hope is not a strategy.
The group decides that the best course of action is to go deer hunting. As you are stalking a deer you notice a rabbit that would be a much easier kill and would feed your family for a week. Killing the rabbit would spook the deer.
Hope is not a strategy.
What do you do?
Phil Jones, author of “Communicating Strategy” used this story to open his presentation.
If the goal is to feed the village and the strategy is to do this by bringing home a deer carcass, the planning process will encompass all the elements of making this happen.
The plan is how we decide to execute the strategy.
Therefore, the plan itself isn’t important, but the process of planning makes carrying out the strategy easy.
Some people argue that if you have a vision that excites you enough, you don’t need goals, plans or strategies. This may be true of a single person pursuing their vision but there are lots of examples of small businesses taking on jobs to bring in immediate cash that distract them from the long term goals.
The process of planning makes carrying out the strategy easy.
Whenever more than one person is involved, the strategy and, more importantly, how that strategy is communicated, becomes very important. The goal of the team, or in this case, the village, may be at odds with the goal of the individual and could result in lots of rabbits being chased at the expense of the organisation as a whole.