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Does Strategy Start with Goals?
Jeroen Kraaijenbrink, a strategy professor at the University of Amsterdam's Business School, addresses what he calls one of the most widespread myths about strategy — that "strategy starts with goals." The myth, he believes, is based on the view that the destination needs to be determined before the journey begins. But the article’s author contends that while goals are critical to intentional progress, they shouldn’t be the universal starting point for strategy. He says that organizations can better formulate goals when they see concrete examples or opportunities that emerge. “Strategy starts with our abilities and the opportunities we see rather than with predefined goals,” he writes. In other words, goals don’t precede action, they are created by action. They then develop and become more tangible based on actions. “What we aspire or aim for codevelops with what we do,” he writes.
 
Kraaijenbrink adds that the idea that strategy should start with predefined goals presumes there is a starting point. Instead, he believes strategy is continuous and goes along a path that may be adjusted with no start, stop, or reset. The key is to realize that goals are evolutionary, emerging as the organization moves forward. Kraaijenbrink concludes by saying that strategy is thinking about actions in advance in the light of goals and capacities. “So, goals are important, but so are your current strategy and capabilities,” he writes. “And the ultimate focus is on actions, not intentions.”
Forbes (04/05/19) Kraaijenbrink, Jeroen
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MAY 2019 EDITION
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