Strategy (Greek "στρατηγία" (strategia), "art of troop leader; office of general, command, generalship") is a general, undetailed plan of action, encompassing a long period of time, to achieve a complicated goal.
Strategy, as a way of action, becomes necessary in a situation when, for the direct achievement of the main goal, the available resources are not enough. The task of strategy is an efficient use of the available resources for the achievement of the main goal. Tactics is the tool to implement strategy, and is subordinated to the main goal of strategy.
Detailing it further, strategy is all about gaining (or being prepared to gain) a position of advantage over adversaries or best exploiting emerging possibilities. As there is always an element of uncertainty about the future, strategy is more about a set of options ("strategic choices") than a fixed plan.
Henry Mintzberg from McGill University defined strategy as "a pattern in a stream of decisions".
Famous quotes containing the word strategy:
“Do you think that mere words are strategy and power for war?”
—Bible: Hebrew, 2 Kings 18:20.
“... the generation of the 20s was truly secular in that it still knew its theology and its varieties of religious experience. We are post-secular, inventing new faiths, without any sense of organizing truths. The truths we accept are so multiple that honesty becomes little more than a strategy by which you manage your tendencies toward duplicity.”
—Ann Douglas (b. 1942)
“That is the way of youth and life in general: that we do not understand the strategy until after the campaign is over.”
—Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe (17491832)