Having done a lot of strategy work with organizations over the years, one commonality I have found is that nearly all organizations make strategy more complicated than it needs to be.
Indeed, I suspect that a view of strategy as being something time-intensive and complex is one of the key factors that keeps many organizations from engaging in serious strategy work in the first place. (Most association education programs, our research has consistently shown, do not have any sort of formal, documented strategy.)
But it doesn’t have to be that way.
In simplest terms, a strategy is a clear vision of the desired future state of your business. This vision then provides a touchstone for making decisions about the activities you undertake. “Does this contribute in a meaningful way to achieving our future vision?” is the essential strategic question.
But how do you set the future vision?