Posted by Cognito on Sun, Apr 11 2010

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Strategy or Strategery?

Bush StrategeryBack in 2000, Saturday Night Live parodied then-candidate Bush's love of unintentional neologisms by coining the term "Strategery". It stuck. More than just a dig at Bushspeak, Strategery came to sybolize what many people felt was wrong with the President's approach to problem solving. Strategery represented a flimsy veneer of forethought over a largely reactive, often highly tactical and inneficient game-plan. 

In the PR industry, the word "strategy" is used a great deal but, more often than not, it's strategery people are referring to. Wikipedia defines strategy thus: Strategy refers to a plan of action designed to achieve a particular goal. The word is of military origin, deriving from the Greek word strategos, which roughly translates as general.In military usage strategy is distinct from tactics, which are concerned with the conduct of an engagement, while strategy is concerned with how different engagements are linked. How a battle is fought is a matter of tactics: the terms and conditions that it is fought on and whether it should be fought at all is a matter of strategy. Poorly thought-out, hurried plans, made reactively or under duress are not strategy. At best they are tactics. When presented as a strategy they become strategery. Outlined below are a few pointers to help you determine whether the plan you are currently developing represents strategy or strategery:

  1. If the 'strategy' meeting you're holding was called ten minutes ago it's a strategery meeting
  2. If you're developing it at midnight on your 10th cup of strong coffee, it's probably strategery 
  3. If three participants in the meeting are dialing in by phone to discuss it, it's strategery
  4. If the 'strategic plan' needs to be implemented at 9am tomorrow morning and completed by 10am it's a strategeric plan
  5. If you're writing it on a plane, train or the back of a car, it's strategery
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