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The divergent aspects of strategy

Nick Jarrett-Kerr, visiting professor, Nottingham Law School

29 February 2016

One of my consulting colleagues recently asked a group of us to come up with our definition of strategy. My first reaction was to give a flippant response. My colleague is, however, right to point out that strategy is not easy to define in simple terms, and many definitions abound. Strategy is not simply a grand document, or even a series of documents, and clearly should be externally focused on markets and not internally obsessive about matters of indifference to clients. Some definitions focus on decisions that the firm makes about its direction while other definitions concentrate on beating competitors. None of these aspects of strategy are wrong and in a profession where it is hard to look or be unique, firms can become very successful simply by being better or more efficient than their rivals. What is more, it is always helpful to unpack strategic intent into the three elements of 'identity' (what sort of firm are we?) 'purpose' (why ...

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