I ran across an interesting perspective recently about the difference between “strategy” and “strategist”. Here’s a definition from Wikipedia for strategist that I think fits the context for change purposes;
“A design strategist has the ability to combine the innovative, perceptive and holistic insights of a designer with the pragmatic and systemic skills of a planner to guide strategic direction in context of business needs, brand intent, design quality and customer values.”
In contrast to “strategy” being about applying particular techniques and maneuvers to achieve your goal.
We’ve talked before about how strategy is involved in successful change —
“Where did the great strategy come from anyway? A corporate culture that encourages innovation, pays attention to ideas generated by its employees, keeps its eyes open to what is happening in the world and is comfortable with responding with something outside of the status quo, is the kind of culture that will generate great strategy on its own.
An organization that didn’t grow its great strategy out of its own culture is really just following somebody else’s vision…”
It will be really valuable for your change effort to apply strategies that are based on the organization’s strategic vision of the future. Does somebody on your change team — stakeholder, executive sponsor, etc. — fill the role of strategist? Not that the person will have that actual title, but you’ll hear a strategist spoken of as an idea generator, leader, visionary, for example. Their participation in defining the future will help make sure that you’re applying the right strategies.