Sometimes a blog post, article, or book crosses your path and as you read it you say to yourself “I wish I’d written this.” When that happens it is a clear sign that the content connects with your core beliefs, resonates with your thinking on the subject, and deserves to be shared with others who might have a similar reaction (or who need to read it to drive them to change their approach).

And that’s why I am sharing this post from Ken Favaro with you…

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There are many things in this post that I 100% agree with (and could not possibly have said better), and this post will become one of the things I share with my clients prior to strategy sessions in the future.

The reason is simple–the insight in the following excerpt is pure gold and needs to become a guiding principle for every business as they seek to define strategy first, then develop the plan they will execute in its pursuit:

The first step is to separate strategy from plan. These are very different animals. A plan describes how you intend to implement the strategy choices you’ve made. It’s a commitment to action, resources, and performance. But a strategy is the result of making choices that answer these fundamental questions:

• What  businesses should we be in, and how do we add value to them?
• Who are our target customers, and what is our value proposition to them?
• What capabilities make us best at how we add value to our individual businesses and how well they deliver their value propositions?

Enough said–separating strategy and planning is a powerful and important idea for every business leader to not only consider, but act upon.

There are many other great insights in the article (not the least of which is the lack of value in wordsmithing vision, mission, purpose, and goals statements that don’t clearly define your strategic destination), and they all merit your attention and warrant calling it to your attention.

Your First Step: Read the article, share it with your team, discuss it, and (most important) redesign your strategy process to separate strategy and planning. It won’t be easy, but the pay-off will more than justify the effort. So stop making strategic comfortable by focusing on how to do the work and get serious about answering the strategic questions above.