Business Strategy; what it is and what it is not?

Strategy has been used in wars, foreign policy and diplomacy for centuries. It has been used in business for many decades now. Michael Porter is the father of modern business strategy.
However, strategy is one of the most misunderstood concepts in business and is often confused with goals, business plan and even vision. Lots of companies hold strategy sessions and weekend retreats but in the end come up with only some lofty goals.
Strategy is thinking pro-actively, analyzing the competition, assessing the resources, evaluating available choices, deciding on one choice and making a clear action plan. If vision is where you want to go then strategy determines the shortest and the best possible way to get there.
Strategy is not vision, like wanting to be the most trusted; it is not goals, like 10% increase in revenue; it is not budgeting, like 7% of revenue for advertising. It is not same as writing a business plan even though it is an integral part of a good business plan. Dreaming or getting lucky is not strategy. Buying a lottery ticket is certainly not strategy.

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