What I have learned from this : Planning - ' what I need to do' Strategy - ' What are my desired outcomes and how to get there?' So strategy has a component of goal and process ( how to get there), meaning having a stategy means you are exercising 'system thinking.'
@maj373 why? The answer is the results. He already mentioned this
@maj373 the 'why' is implicit in defining the desired outcome(s). The desired outcome is the 'why' behind the plan.
@KT 'Thinking in systems' by donella meadows.
' What are my desired outcomes and how to get there?' NOTE: Here 'my' means 'YOUR' customers. You are successful as long as your customers are returning to you.
@KT Learn to Think in Systems by Albert Rutherford. It's an action book, so if you read it, be prepared to take notes and flashcards.
This is a fantastic presentation by all standards. Thanks to the internet for the things we learn from professionals from several miles away.
I've never heard a simpler and illuminating explanation of the difference between strategy and planning, thanks a lot for sharing!
This is my favourite HBR video. I finally understand the difference between strategy and planning. Excellent explanation with practical steps, thank you! 🙏🏾
@Loujie Senatin perhaps so
@fluid content you have a point and the resource person also provides a very substantive knowledge in this field. Maybe referring to it as Strategy Management is more appropriate, which HBR already discussed years ago.
@kejar metaverse I added my thought to this above or below( not sure where it will fall in the feed). I’ll answer any specific questions you have. Leave them here in the thread.
@Cheby Chvse I did up top… but here you go. Your understanding of strategic planning is incorrect. Strategic planning puts a single minded fine point on a strategic direction. When done well it provides a living bible from which to create cohesive activities across the entire business. Without one, most business units operate in silos and produce a lot of disjointed ideas and tactics. The best part about strategic planning is it happens before you start spending resources on executions. Again, strategic planning is the lens that provides clarity for all business stakeholders. It is a framework that allows for freedom - everyone can play along. I’ve used these practices in business small and global with great success. Note: this process is more important now than ever. With the splintering of messaging across so many platforms and experiences if you don’t have the type of single minded yet dynamic position SP provides your business is likely to stand for nothing but a price point.
@AddictedFoolGamer I welcome it. It’s not meant as a dig at all. I like Roger and his work. My thinking on strategic planning comes from 30 years of experience in the industry. I love a great debate but this is not really debatable. Since it’s inception in the UK people have been practicing strategic planning but it’s gotten further and further away from its purity. Especially here in the states. That’s all I’m saying. It’s a beautiful process when you really understand and use it properly.
I was reading and watching about strategy more than 14 years. This video completely revolutionized how I saw it. Now, I can think strategically. Thanks Prof. Roger Martin
This is better than attending a Harvard MBA class. Brilliant lesson! Thank you Prof. Roger Martin!
@colder Not true. Strategy is much more specific in nature, more intricate and meticulous.
@Jonathan Dagle A painting and sculpture are two different mediums with their own set of rules. A strategy and plan work together to execute results. A strategy is the collection of insights to accomplish a goal. But a plan is how you execute that strategy with tasks and actions. I recently had to create a marketing strategy and plan, so I confirmed the difference lol. They're supposed to work together.
@Beth Romelus Perhaps, buy this isn't about "planning" -- it's about comparing a plan to a strategy. Like comparing "painting" to a sculpture...
@colder This could not be more false. A plan is not a strategy, except perhaps in the most rudimentary or imprecise definitions (this is a business school talk, not elementary school).
I agree! Such a great lesson 👏
My takeaway : Strategy gives you skin in the game, it is long-term and sets you on a path for iterative plans over a duration of time. Planning is post-natal care that leads to Implementation of strategy.
Are you saying there can't be planning without strategy?
Incredibly well said and I love how you point out that it should feel uncomfortable. Even working for an internal department where our only customer is the business, strategy is still about how we organize as a group of people to deliver value. Planning is figuring out how we're actually going to execute those things. Too often the strategy step is skipped completely.
So you have never owned a business then?
When I was in college in the 90's, strategic management and planning was my favorite course and the one class I got the most out of in college. It explained these concepts in this video. What was so troubling that 10 years later, I would listen to all these supervisors, managers, directors, execs, and other higher ups literally talk planning as it was suppose to be there strategy. Even now, I cringe when I hear a Director or other higher up discuss their plans as if they strategies. My most frustrating higher up I had was someone that insisted that we as employees had to memorize our departments principles as part of some kind of strategic plan. To say the least, I kept my head down and basically hid from the guy his entire tenure because I wasn't doing it and it was a pure waste of my time.
Ah yes, telling people what to think rather than teaching them how to think.
Wow! Strategy focuses on desired outcome, acknowledging the angst that while the outcome is out of our control if we lay out our logic and are willing to tweak it we increase our chances at winning
In the end it's semantics. You plan to follow a strategy. Your strategy is to follow your plan. To each their own, but this only changes things if you truly did not think about strategy before this.
This is a great presentation, thank you. It fits along with the concept that if you're not incurring some risk, you're not going to win. Or to extend that, if you're only managing the expense side of a business, you're eventually going to lose. It's a slow downward spiral to lowest cost for commodity production, at best.
Even a plan set with SMART goals or strategy is doable and possible. Implementation within the limits is the most important part of all of that . I've seen a lot sink badly in the ocean of implementation.
As a startup, this was incredibly helpful! Thank you for guiding us to look further than the checkboxes.
This makes sense, I always had that theoretical mindset of doing things which turns out to be the strategy.. But always people like to see planning which is just steps to take to do things to accept your ideas. This explanation has confirmed my own understanding of what strategy is, and the final part where he said it should be short makes even better.
That moment when you fight assertions being made - internally - and then relent when it's described with real world examples... Thank you Professor Martin.
Pure wisdom, this! Reminds me a bit of Daniel Coyle and *_The Talent Code,_* working through the discomforts of uncertainty sets you free! Withdrawing from those opportunities to be "uncomfortable" only trap you into things like procrastination and failure.
Brilliant just brilliant ❤️ in 6 min you cleared my entire thought process. I consider myself to be a brilliant planner but over time I have stopped relying on planning, as I came to the conclusion it is the random nature of world which makes most plans fail. And since I dropped a fundamental belief of my life( Planning is good). I have been struggling with conflicts of within myself. I watched this video twice just to have a more intense exposure to what you were saying. Just bought your book on audible. Thank you 👍
Planning is good, it is just not everything in business and life. Plan, but be prepared and have a mindset to change it quickly
I think another feeling while doing the strategy is excitement. The feeling when you actually see that there is a possibility of winning! Amazing video btw! Thank you 🙏
I've been working on EPM (Enterprise Performance Management) for a few years now, and I find this disconnect between strategy and planning quite often. Fantastically well summarised in this video. Loved it.
Love this. It has saved my career. I was now feeling like "no"one can hear me. Cause I have been of the mindset, that one needs to give themselves and their business the best shot possible and that is scary since it is extremely speculative, yet it is more of something to trust and believe in......as this video suggests, that is strategy.....My confidence is back..
Love it. Congrats and success to you!!!
Interesting, since I face this regularly at work. Another word for strategy is vision and that is where it is often missing. Plans can also be synonymous as procedures and this always mires people who are either not observant enough or brave enough to break out of it. You combine the two and most workplaces have leaders that do not provide a vision and / or strategy while the people on the front lines are only planning within the procedures rather than exploring new options. Resulting in companies that slowly repeat mistakes or failing practices until they can no longer sustain themselves. Blockbuster comes to mind.
Strategy, as the esteemed professor explains, may have some external variables while planning is mostly involved with internal set of actions. All strategic actions will require planning but not all planning need strategy , I guess :)
If I may, I would add that a "strategy" is a translation of a mission statement. It's the first empirical, and practical, means of designing the work needed to achieve the goal. Planning, I'd say, could be seen as a more responsive measure to approach external factors or circumstances. Mission Statement: To bring peace Strategy: To overpower the enemy Plan: To attack from all sides
I am an incessant maker of to-do lists, so naturally, the title of this video piqued my curiosity. This is wonderfully informative. What excites about it, is that I can see it being hugely useful not only for a business, but also for an individual attempting to realise personal goals.
Mr Martin is right to separate the "why" from the "how". Too often there is insufficient thought and explanation of the "why". However he needs to recognise the "why" won't be achieved without the plans being put into place and delivered. I would suggest that rather than creating a disconnect between strategy and plans it would be better to explain how plans should be better linked into, and supportive of a well thought and articulated strategy. In short plans needs outcomes not just objectives and the control process should be monitoring for the delivery of the outcomes - providing action management to ensure the plans support the strategy. In my experience it is the implementation of strategy where failure occurs rather than the strategy itself.
@C B I take your point ( and agree ) but a bit harsh
Yet, wrong. Strategy without a plan is a wish list. Plans without strategy are "to do" lists. Hence---"strategic planning". Which forces you to identify WHERE resources will come from, WHEN they are needed in a strategy, and WHO will provide them, etc. If all you know is HOW and WHY, you will blow up like all of the companies run by MBAs and Biz school wiz kids. Consider this: every major economic blunder of the 20th and 21st centuries was the creation of a "prestigious" biz school. From the Recession in 1903 to the 2008 recession and including the so called Great Depression, the same group of geniuses both caused them and extended them. There is a discipline called strategic planning and it ties together all of the lines necessary; WHAT, WHERE, WHEN, WHO, HOW, and WHY. Of course, what would a professor know about it? No risk in the safe spaces of the modern "academic" setting, eh?
I appreciate this excellent bite-size video which is much better than attending a whole year-long MBA class. So clear and easy to absorb and understand. I particularly love the idea of accepting the angst as this is the hardest point I used to convince the management when I challenge them. We need a strategy, not a plan!
There is a simple test I teach my people to see if something is really a strategy: What is it sacrificing ? Trying to do/achieve/improve many things at once is probably not a strategy.
I’ve read your book. The strategy model you’ve created is outstanding and break from the traditional models out there. Easy and straight forward. Thanks Roger :)
@Emmanuel Luka A New Way to Think: Your Guide to Superior Management Effectiveness
@Emmanuel Luka -I'm planning to- My strategy is to 😏 use "Roger Martin strategy," or some combo like that.
What is the name of book?
Excellent lecture of Professor Martin! Simple, clear and objective.
Thanks for simplifying what most of us failed to differentiate. This is really crucial for developing strategy at each stage of company’s development in the business life cycle. Better understanding of your firm specific resources and capabilities will definitely aid where and how strategies are set to build sustainable competitive advantage and to leveraged on core competencies. Most plan will fail without understanding the firms strategies to maintain core competencies against the changes at the macro and micro level. Strategy integrates all business resources and capabilities towards sustainable competitive advantage hence strategy aids SMART planning. Otherwise, we plan to fail.
Explained in such a simple manner that leaves no ambiguity in our minds. Thank you!
This has been coming up into my feeds for several days and I thank God that I finally watched it. This is quite interesting and may serve as a reflective reference point after I adjust my strategy. This is good stuff! This bless.
A strategy needs to be implemented through a planned approach without which it is a pipe dream. On the other hand, just planning activities without a strategy is bumbling in the dark.
a plan is blind without a strategy, but a strategy cannot be implemented without a plan. strategic planning is not a contradiction, it is the first stage of a proper planning process.
I loved every single minute of this video. Martin has such a unique way of breaking down daunting subjects into accessible and actionable components. For everyone that enjoyed this, definitely go read the very concise "Playbook for Strategy" by Roger Martin, et al. It's incredible how a single piece of writing has forever changed how I approach business and evaluate new opportunities. It's a necessary bible for anyone looking to build anything valuable.
This is a very good and simple edit. Focused on words and easy editing. Mature content delivery from the title, to music to editing to font choices all matters. Keep up the good work.
Planning is needed once you develop strategy. It’s how you will execute. I think that calling planning a failure is a false dichotomy. Yes, without strategy, planning is pointless. Without planning your execution, you’re setting up for failure. And planning isn’t a locked box, you tweak your plan during phases to adjust. When he says set your strategy and then do it, the “do it” is the planning and execution. Check the project management Institute for more information on planning and the project life cycle.
That’s the best video about strategy I’ve seen in years. Thanks for sharing your knowledge, Dr Martin
Thanks for this great lesson helping to differentiate between Strategist vs Planner 👍👍👍👍
Correct. The use of the term “strategic planning” is a massive pet peeve of mine. “Strategy” is a military term that has been coopted by business, but to be applicable in business it must be focused primarily on how you will succeed in achieving your goals against sovereign actors that are often actively trying to undermine or destroy you.
Fantastic explanation. All business leaders should view this and understand the information. Well done. 👍
I'm a Strategic Planning Director of one of the leading advertising agencies worldwide for many years. But this short, sharp, crystal clear definition helped me a lot, even after more than 24 years global expertise in the industry. THANKS Roger Martin for sharing this masterclass.
in summary, strategy involves external elements and uncertainty whereas planning does not. And strategy focuses on preparing to win whereas planning focuses on completing a checklist of work.
For me planning = tactics (I am a chess player). In chess: strategy -> specifies what we want to achieve tactics -> specifies how we will achieve it
Strategy= Plan Tactics= Strategy
Calls to mind a line from a book, which is near enough “ingenuity is no substitute for intelligence”. Being really good at the mechanics of processes is no substitute for knowing whether you needed to spend the time on those processes in the first place. In chess, you have tactics and strategy. Both have a role - but playing purely on tactics is much too time consuming and is a good way to fall prey to an opponent who is setting up lots of tactical opportunities for you while their strategy is unfolding.
The information provided is first-rate. Thank you. It is critical for a business to grasp the difference between having a plan and having a strategy.
This was packed with nuggets of wisdom. I agree, although progressing in business and coming up with a strategy can get tedious, it's totally worth it.
Excellent video and an explanation which leadership, of all size businesses, should review and understand. Thank you HBR for sharing.
Fantastic explanation. So clear. More please! :)
Good video, this is a massive issue in the finance/banking world, so much planning that does nothing for the customers or the company.
Such an elegant presentation of the concept of strategy! The utility of planning shouldn’t be understated either (eg Atul Gawande’s Checklist Manifesto), but completely agree that strategy is different.
Absolutely spectacular and insightful. Thank you so very much for sharing. Short, to the point, informative, and inspirational!
This is brilliant. Simple, clear, concise and clarifies what Strategy is. Now to find some books by Roger Martin.
If you do strategy it gives you the best possible chance winning - this was the line that wished was told in class
Finally somebody talking sense, i deal with management so comfortable with the certainty of planning, its hard to get them out of the confort zone into a real strategy with uncertainty
Damnn. this is so good, now I understand that even the leadership at Southwestern airlines couldn't have controlled the outcome, they just had to trust their strategy anyways 👍
Yep. I frequently sit in meetings called strategic planning, and it’s no more than a list of projects. I’ve brought this up repeatedly, to the very smart person leading it, no avail. My conclusion is that he either doesn’t think he/we have the ability to craft a strategy, or he thinks it’s not worth it because he doubts we can implement a strategy.
explained in 10 mins better than 10 books on strategy, thank you!
This is an incredible video. Brilliantly articulated. I'll remember the name Roger Martin. Thank you Professor.
As an athlete I always looked at planning as weird. A strategy allows you to go impromptu and gain both flexibility and mobility...which shatters plans
I agree me too i found planning as very hard to come with, i always know what i want but planning fot it is the biggest challenge for me. Thanks for this video
Risk of the unknown can be mitigated by prototyping your idea and testing with your potential users. This is what startups do before deciding to go all in or pivot.
Thanks. Been a project manager for 6 years now...and I've come to hate the word "plan." "Accept angst:" Spot on! Also, I think a great subject/concept to aid in the development of a strategy is "Second Order Thinking." Ever get accused of "over-thinking?" Hmm. Describe the risks of over-thinking. Now describe the risks of under-thinking...and while you are doing that tell me what "Goldilocks thinking" is...just the perfect amount of thinking.
Such an informative video I will start applying more strategies in my life as opposed to plans Thank you 🌷
Nope...evwry strategy needs a plan...every plan does not need strategy
Doesn't a strategy at some point require planning the execution of said strategy? For instance setting out your goals right? If you're saying you want to become the largest airline by passenger miles in the USA don't you have to plan the expansion of your fleet capacity, plan your marketing drive, plan your routes, and so on and so on right? I always thought about plans as just the series of steps needed to realize the success of your strategy. Which is why agile project management is needed to keep plans flexible and and dynamic right?
Planning allows you to avoid losing by organizing your ideas, resources, assets, etc. Strategy enables you to win by making bold yet calculated risks. Planning is algebra while strategy is Bayesian statistics and inferences.
A very simple way of explaining the difference between the two as well as making it abundantly clear what makes some successful, while others are busy and content to be running in a hamster wheel
Beautiful explanation of how REAL entrepreneurship works. 👏
this guy is a genius....and then ppl wanna complain they cant do anything when this is literally free...this lesson alone can help your business get to 100k/year...
Only 100k profit? man, and i thought my 170k engineering job was demeaning for earning so little.
❤ My favorite explanation and some leadership just don’t get it. They think they do, but strategy ends up being a list of tasks - not coherent across the board.
Thank you for teaching me the difference between strategy and planning
The very essence of winning strategy is competive advantage. It works like a silver bullet: it permeates the whole organisation.
Both Strategy and Strategic Planning are both subsets of Strategy Management
Strategy is all about winning. Planning is a sure way of losing. Thank you!🙏🏾
Strategy is the specifics on why and the how to implement the long term plan. Love it!
In many ways, this is similar to the difference between Waterfall and Agile style of project management. Planning for comfort or Strategising for wining. Very Insightful.
Brilliant! You can apply the exact same approach when mapping out your career to climb the corporate ladder.
Oddly this relates to the sport of Raquetball. My strategy in competition is always to leverage my strengths and prey on others weaknesses. To do this I have to try a few hunches and watch my opponents response. Eventually I find a weakness, everyone has them. Then I play the ball to that over and over and over to break them. Sometimes they adjust, then I have to shift to a new weakness. Sometimes I get tired and have to play with less shots. Either way my point is it’s dynamic and it’s about leverage.
I saw someone saying this was their favourite HBR video. For me it's not just HBR, it inspired me so much, this is my favourite video EVER. Watched it 3x already to engrave it into myself and will probably do it a few more times :) Thank you for this amazing content
This is an excellent presentation which explains value proposition without actually calling it as such. For a practical illustration of this you may want to look at simple but powerful tool called Business Canvas. It enables whole system thinking focused on your customers’ value requirements using a single page diagram
Well explained: Succinct and to the point. Thank you for this.
My takeaway: "You don't control them" Thank you for the brilliant video.
Hello, thank you for the above explanation. My question is, which is the best online course on strategy? Kind Regards.
Very illuminating lecture. I am enlightened and on the way to become a billionair. Thank you professor.
Strategy is flexible, it is the framwork of your actions, it is like principles, a lighthouse, while plan is a blueprint, a list of objectives in a certain order, and don't foregt about tactics against strategy, all of it just different level of abstractions. Take mission- which is the ultimate goal but without specifics, without strategy, plan etc.
"An integrative set of choices that positions you on a playing field of your choice in a way that you win"
Having done Strategy for clients for many years, I was still unclear about the differences and use the words together --- strategic planning. Always felt weird about it. Thanks Professor Roger Martin for putting this matter to bed for me.
This is very simple to understand, I've been sharing this with my network. I hope more entrepreneurs and decision makers watch this :)
In my time in the metal trades I had employers who were big on grand plans even holding meetings that included the mere shop floor staff. The minute you asked for an extra grinder or power tool and then when promised did not arrive; in subsequent meetings asked again you got the down cast look and mutterings. The meetings quickly became a thing for sales reps and no working staff.
Excellent video and so helpful as I work on starting a business!
Strategy is how you want the market to behave for you Planning is how you get the market to behave in said way.
Based on this video, I think strategic planning is a thing and it is possible. The challenge is that many are not implementing the way it should be done. I've studied, taught and most importantly, been involved in strategic planning with a multi billion dollar company and it works. Strategic planning is like a combination of both strategy (the thought, vision) and planning (for execution). Strategy also includes reviewing the results obtained from the execution of the plan and putting measures which primary includes problem solving techniques to guarantee improvement and growth. Strategy in and of itself may not obtain as much results as a well developed and implemented strategic plan. The good news about a strategic plan is that it is a living process that evolves with time and experience.
This is the best video explanation on Strategy. We have got it wrong all these while. I’ve watched this for at least 10 times. 👍🏻👍🏻👍🏻
Sometimes you just like doing something and don't want to analysis the crap out of it, but you end up getting where you want anyway. Others might watch you and be able to explain it better to others than you. Or sometimes you do something for someone else you didn't really like doing then and you did it to help
This is great advice, but hard to live by. I say that knowing I have made my life choices based on this style of thought..
I love how he broke this down to small-sized bits and also his relaxed tone, I didn't know when I watched it 3 times over. Love it!
@Naphtali Hoff I know right
I really like his relaxed tone as well.
A guard at the gate to my home gave me this lesson when I was young. Life-changing insight.
maybe the fact that you had house and a gate with a guard was more life-changing .... However Congrats for both.
Takeaway: leadership taking risks con a theory that demands planning in every domain integrated. It demands a mindset.
Strategy is the main goal and it has a philosophical meaning and to achieve this goal it must be built on small short term plans and maneuvers and responsive with current position , and to make these plans done perfectly you must have skills and tactics about your field whatever it is .
The most simple way to learn the distinction and the most deep fundamentals at the same time 👍🏻
Fascinating perspective. Thank you. I think I must keep this as a favorite to watch a few times.