I found The Can You Say What Your Strategy Is article to be the most interesting one yet. Before reading it, I did not really think of strategy as differentiating from a company mission or vision. While the mission and vision tell the why and motivation behind its existence, strategy is the direction your company is headed. This is how your company will achieve its goals.
I think that finding the sweet spot hat aligns with your organization and customers is an effective avenue for strategic development. It is a way to meet customer needs with a competitive edge. I liked the example of combining two different alternatives, such as Red Lobster and McDonald's and creating Long John Silvers. It was a good example of competing because they are different from their rivals. Strategy is about the results of your decisions. You need strategy to show how you plan to reach your goals and objective.
This article has made me think about the organizations I have worked for. My former job was with a non-profit. It is clear now that it was talk of our mission, vision, and goals and then called it our "strategy" without a clear difference. I have not worked for an organization that has successfully formulated or implemented a strategy or strategy statement. I feel that they make their purpose clear, but do not focus enough on the final step, strategy. Short and long-term goals are discussed, but not the implementation. The mission and vision alone are not enough.
I think it is important to have a clear strategy that is communicated to everyone at every level of the organization. Without clarity, there cannot be implementation. Just like a mission, vision, there has to be an understanding and clarification throughout. I remember being at a work retreat and members of the board and staff had many questions on how they were supposed to implement our company mission. This is where having a strategy in place would have been beneficial.