I’ve just read Graham Oakes’ article ‘The Illusion of Strategy’ with interest.
Oakes argues that there are 2 types of projects out there: one where you know what you’re doing and one where you don’t. He says most digital initiatives fall into the second category, because you have to iterate.
But if you look at the thinking behind agile and lean, iteration and experimentation doesn’t necessarily mean you don’t have a strategy.
A well defined objective and a basic idea (or set of ideas) about how you will achieve that objective can be described as a strategy, can’t it?
Reporting back, you might miss out all the experiments or wrong turns you took, to make it sound more clear-cut. But you still knew where you wanted to go and had a rough idea of how to get there.
There is no illusion of strategy. It’s either there or it’s not.