“Strategy is a fancy word for coming up with a long-term plan and putting it into action.”

A bat and a ball cost R1.10. The bat costs one Rand more than the ball. How much does the ball cost?

Strategy is mostly about stretching one’s brain beyond its normal ways of thinking. This happens through repeated focused training, whether academically or in actual practice. Looking at the riddle above, one is most likely to make assumptions based on what may appear as obvious. This usually happens in business, where managers make decisions which they consider to be “no-brainers,” without careful consideration of the dynamics of their organisation’s environment, or what they intend to achieve, as defined by their strategic objectives.

It is said that strategy was born in the military and, by definition, it was a plan on how to defeat the enemy. Strategy will always be around for as long as competition and/or opponents exist. In business, an organisation strives to offer more value to its customers than its competitors can. A strategy spells out how the organisation will achieve that. This extra value can be achieved through different strategies, like: better pricing, superior service or a better product. Trying to replicate what another organisation is doing isn’t a strategy. For an organisation to remain competitive, it must be able to compound and enlarge the extent of its competitive edge.

The ball costs R0.05. One Rand more than 5 cents is R1.05, the sum of which is R1.10.

 

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