Why is STRATEGY so secret?

I am intrigued by the communication status of STRATEGY in large organisations. Is the defualt to keep the STRATEGY as private as possible so that only the generals at the top of the organisation know the intricacies of it? Is the STRATEGY then abstracted to differeing levels as it passes down the hierachy? Is the pinnacle of that abstraction what is published on the corporate website? A pithy set of statements oft described as the mission statement or purpose?

I get confused by this process. There are elements and goals of STRATEGY that of course must remain private e.g. sales/purchases of businesses, redundancies etc. but is the default of the strategy to keep as much as possible private to maintain STRATEGIC advantage over competitors? Or is this default privacy setting to ensure the vagueness can be used as a way of saying we are still on track when things go a little awry? Are there differing types of STRATEGY that could be treated differently? e.g a Digital STRATEGY? An internal collaboration STRATEGY? A social STRATEGY?

I think the problem with these appraoches is that the strategy becomes so secret that not enough of a large organisation know what it actually means, what directon they are heading, what impact it has on the day to day and more importantly the day tomorrow.

What if large organisations published their STRATEGIES? Made them open to every member of staff? To every customer? To everyone.


John J Sills says:

I think the world would be a better place! People could help these companies achieve their strategies, better and quicker than their competitors. After all, very few companies have strategies so complex they can’t be guessed. It’s the implementation of the strategy that makes the difference…

Leave a Reply