What IS NOT Strategy and What IS

Andrea Belk Olson
2 min readNov 20, 2023

Recruit and retain top talent.

Increase market share.

Improve customer satisfaction.

Expand into new geographic markets.

Diversity product offerings.

Reduce operating costs.

Improve employee satisfaction.

Develop and launch new technologies.

Improve supply chain management.

Increase revenue and profitability.

Implement sustainability practices.

Improve efficiency and productivity.

Develop and maintain strong partnerships.

Enhance product quality and reliability.

Increase innovation and creativity.

Strengthen organizational culture.

Build a talent pipeline.

Improve the customer experience.

Expand into new product categories.

Invest in research and development.

— -

These are not strategies. These are goals. A goal is what a company wants to accomplish. A strategy is the UNIQUE and DISTINCT WAY by which the goal is achieved.

— -

If, as a leader, you don’t design and effectively articulate the strategy by which you’ll achieve those goals, you’ll never reach them.

If, as a leader, you throw them over the fence to your leadership team and let them “figure it out, but with the freedom to fail,” you’ll still never reach them.

“Human resources will hire five new members of the sales team by the end of September.” is also not a strategy.

“The sales manager will be on proposal calls to secure five in-person meetings with prospects by Thanksgiving.” is also not a strategy.

“Increase the size of our sales staff.” is also not a strategy.

A STRATEGY is much bigger, deeper, and broader. It is core to who you are as an organization.

Whether you want to grow, stabilize, retrench, or reinvent, it should easily adapt.

It’s your unique value proposition.

It’s your unique position.

It’s your distinct competitive advantage.

That’s it. — About the Author

Andrea’s 25-year, field-tested background provides practical, behavioral science approaches to creating differentiated, human-focused organizations. A 4x ADDY award-winner, TEDx presenter, and 3x book author, she began her career at a tech start-up and led the strategic sales, marketing, and customer engagement efforts at two global industrial manufacturers. She now leads a change agency dedicated to helping organizations differentiate their brands using behavioral science.

In addition to writing and consulting, Andrea speaks to leaders and industry organizations around the world. Connect with Andrea to access information on her book, keynoting, research, or consulting. More information is also available at www.pragmadik.com or www.andreabelkolson.com.

Originally published at https://www.linkedin.com.



Andrea Belk Olson

Behavioral Scientist. Customer-Centricity Expert. Prolific Author. Compelling Speaker. More at www.andreabelkolson.com