Frame of reference for strategy LO26171

From: Peggy Stuart (
Date: 02/19/01

In reply to Harriett's post LO26157:

"I have been doing some reading about what distinguishes strategic
planning from planning and it appears to me that these two responses
contradict one another. Or am I misreading them? I would like to know
more about what strategic planning is and isn't."

In reference to Richard's post LO26150:

"I think that, in its most simplistic definition, strategy answers the
planning question of "how." Tactics (again simplistically) provide the
implementing responses of what, when, where, and who for every answer of

Strategic objectives provide the "how" for realizing a mission (or
purpose). The mission (and/or vision and values) usually provide the
answer to "why."


Hi Harriett and Richard:

Mission and vision statements are not strategies in that they are, in and
by themselves, not plans of action. However, they are strategic in nature
in that they have organizational-wide impact. In addition, the process by
which you come up with your mission, vision, etc. statements is a
strategic planning process, both due to the process and the level of

Perhaps part of the confusion re. strategy is created through linking the
intended outcome of the planning processes and/or the level of analysis to
the process itself. For example, the difference between tactics and
strategies as described above are (1) systems-level vs. individual or
team/function/department (2) mission, vision, etc. vs. implementation. I
think that in and by itself, strategy is simply a planning process. But
that is just my own frame of reference, which is defined by my own
background, ideals and education.

As such, I agree with Richard's statement " ... this is why discussions
about strategies sometimes seem so confusing. Strategy is defined by
context and by the perspective of the person who is defining it."

One of the things I will treasure about this dialogue is that I think I
now know the questions I need to ask to understand what other's mean by
'strategy' so I can work with this person while on the same page; speak
the same language. From recent experience, these questions also serve to
bust open some mental models, create some dialogue, etc., all of which
adds value to our learning culture. Yea! :-)




Peggy Stuart <>

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