Strategy Dictionary Update 2018: We originally published this post about 12 months ago, but have since added more definitions and will continue to update as we move forward. You can download a PDF version of this page, which will also mean that we’ll let you know when we’ve added new terminology to it!
Strategy isn’t a science. There are frameworks, guides, and common semantics – but ultimately strategy is the art of creating a direction for your organization, then doing whatever it takes to get there. Because of this reality, a huge body of work has arisen both online and offline that addresses the topic. Writing on strategy is almost always subjective and often contradictory. The terminology that people use is often used interchangeably – meaning that strategy newcomers often get stuck in a mire of confusing research rather than getting on with the real job of making things happen.
With over 1,000,000 hits per year to this very blog, I’m sure that we’re as guilty as anyone to contributing to the confusion around strategy terminology. As such, we decided to create our own strategy dictionary which we originally posted back in early 2017. To ensure you’re up to date with current strategy terminology and concepts we have decided to revise and improve our strategy dictionary to bring you our complete 2018 strategy dictionary to clearly define (at least for us) what we mean when we use certain words and phrases. You’ll find these terms regularly throughout this blog and also in our own strategy platform Cascade.
Before you go through the strategy dictionary, claim your FREE 14 day trial of Cascade
Cascade is the complete strategy execution platform and will help you to create your strategic plan and much more. Easy to use, incredibly powerful and trusted by some of the largest (and smallest) brands in the world. Pricing starts at $29 per month
Let us know what terms you would add to our strategy dictionary in the comments below, or if you feel like our definitions are ever wide of the mark.
Strategy Dictionary – A
The action plan lists the specific actions that must be taken, by whom and by when in order to achieve an overall goal or implement a strategy. Some people include the costs of each action in the action plans, resulting in budget information being included in the action plans, as well. Action plans together are sometimes referred to as the Implementation Plan.
When one company, the acquirer, purchases and absorbs the operations of another, the acquired.
Alignment model of strategic planning:
Focuses especially on aligning internal operations to most effectively and efficiently work toward the mission of the organization.
Strategy Dictionary – B
A framework for categorising your strategy into four interdependent balanced areas- financial, customer, internal business process, and employee learning & growth.
Base level of previous or current performance that can be used to set improvement goals and provide a basis for assessing future progress.
A process of compiling and comparing data on business performance of your organisation with that of competitors or industry averages to understand where you sit in comparison, identify best practices, and measure progress.
A description of the monetary amount that will be allocated to a given project or action.
A formal guide outlining your business goals and plans to achieve the goals. It may also include background information on the organisation attempting to achieve these goals.
Obtaining agreement from key stakeholders that the proposed plan is acceptable.
Strategy Dictionary – C
Capacity building is the process of creating, improving and retaining core skills, knowledge and capabilities of an organization’s people and processes.
Capital refers to the assets that are owned by an entity and are available for use. Capital is usually described in terms of money, though can be an asset owned by an organization.