Strategy (from Greek στρατηγία stratēgia, “art of troop leader; office of general, command, generalship”) is a high level plan to achieve one or more goals under conditions of uncertainty. In the sense of the “art of the general”, which included several subsets of skills including “tactics”, siegecraft, logistics etc., the term came into use in the 6th century C.E. in East Roman terminology, and was translated into Western vernacular languages only in the 18th century. From then until the 20th century, the word “strategy” came to denote “a comprehensive way to try to pursue political ends, including the threat or actual use of force, in a dialectic of wills” in a military conflict, in which both adversaries interact. Strategy is important because the resources available to achieve these goals are usually limited. Strategy generally involves setting goals, determining actions to achieve the goals, and mobilizing resources to execute the actions. A strategy describes how the ends (goals) will be achieved by the means (resources). The senior leadership of an organization is generally tasked with determining strategy. Strategy can be intended or can emerge as a pattern of activity as the organization adapts to its environment or competes. It involves activities such as strategic planning and strategic thinking. Henry Mintzberg from McGill University defined strategy as “a pattern in a stream of decisions” to contrast with a view of strategy as planning, while Max McKeown (2011) argues that “strategy is about shaping the future” and is the human attempt to get to “desirable ends with available means.” Dr. Vladimir Kvint defines strategy as “a system of finding, formulating, and developing a doctrine that will ensure long-term success if followed faithfully.”
Business strategy is thus a a plan or approach that a company uses to achieve its business goals and objectives. A business strategy typically outlines the actions that a company will take to target specific markets, compete with other companies, and achieve a competitive advantage. A business strategy may address a wide range of issues, such as the products or services that the company will offer, the target market that the company will pursue, the pricing and marketing strategies that the company will use, and the resources and capabilities that the company will need to execute its plan. A business strategy is often developed at the corporate level and is then implemented by the various business units and functions within the company.