In a recent article by Inc.com titled ‘Ditch Your Strategy, Keep Your Vision‘, Karl Stark and Bill Stewart state,
Winning strategies are not set in concrete, but your long-term vision should remain rooted.
Karl and Bill go on further to state that long term vision, rules, and the “need to identify the markets where you’ll compete and how you’ll successfully win in the market” are the key components to the success of a business. It speaks of businesses course correcting along the way – the most successful staying in line with their overall vision. Your strategy, although important, is secondary to your vision and you should expect it to be flexible.
Smart thinking I thought. But as I usually do, I took it to the streets – asking other business owners and experts their views on strategy versus vision. Here’s what they had to say:
@michele_welch – A clear vision should tug at your core, driving you forward with resolve – inspire and push you face first toward success.
— Adam Toren (@thebizguy) October 29, 2012
@michele_welch Vision. Without it, strategy is pointless, both in business AND life… (Hope that’s good and thanks for asking!). Good luck!
— Chris C. Ducker (@chriscducker) November 7, 2012
@michele_welch – That’s like asking whether I value food over drink. You need both to survive.
— Chris Brogan (@chrisbrogan) November 6, 2012
Hmm… Chris sure added a twist here!
Vision is more important than strategy. Without vision, you won’t know what direction to apply a strategy towards. Also, to reach the vision, multiple strategies can be executed either concurrently or serially. If one strategy doesn’t work, a different strategy can be tried. The vision thing. It’s paramount. ~ Dino Dogan, Triberr.com & DIY Blogger
Vision – knowing where you’re going and what you are aiming to achieve is more important than ‘how’ you do it (the strategy). The vision is about the destination and provides direction, like a compass. The strategy is the route you take – it may change. Strategy is still important, but it’s an outcome of having a vision.~ Allan Ward, Blogger Business Plan
Vision comes before strategy. Strategy is useless w/o vision. However, to move your vision forward, it takes strategy–why not have both? ~ Lisa Tener, Book Writing Coach
Can’t have one without the other if you want success. Vision without strategy=empty dreams. Strategy without vision=blind alleys. ~ Troy Claus, TroyClaus.com
Without a vision, there is nothing to strategize. If you have a vision and no strategy to get there, you’re toast. Neither one of these is any good without the other. ~ Mark Harai, Gro Traffic
Such a nice range of answers here and as you can easily see that vision trumps strategy in the minds of these experts, although strategy is still a very important factor in your business. I’m ALL about strategy. Heck I’m a business and marketing strategist!
But I concur with all those who say that it all starts with Vision. I’ve used this analogy before – it you are are in a car, understand all the workings of a car, yet don’t know where you’re going as you begin driving … well, you just maybe in for a loooonnng drive.
I found it interesting the Chris Brogan thought they were equally important. He was the only contributor to this question that didn’t feel that Vision trumped Strategy. I always find it fascinating how given a level playing field, those who have found success can still have differences of opinions on a specific topic of discussion. Goes to show, that it always boils down to what YOU believe and what works for YOU!
So I ask you this. Do you think Vision trumps Strategy? How do you measure the importance of one over the other? Or are you like Chris (the rebel ) and feel that they are equally important? Please share.