What: Bake a cake.
Why: Because we are celebrating an important birthday.
How: Poor cake mix into a bowl. Add water. Add 1 egg. Stir for 30 seconds. Pour into a 8 x 10 ungreased pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes. Cool on rack. Ice.
This may seem overly simplistic, but believe me, the person who wrote this recipe on the back of a cake mix box probably experience several edits before he or she broke it down to a set of perfect, measurable steps.
In the corporate world, we have to do that too. Even if we are planning some major strategy. The challenge is to keep it simple so that it is absolutely, unequivocally true, such that a reasonable and logically individual could not find fault with it or could follow it blindfolded.
Strategy answers these three questions: What is to be accomplished (the end goal); why is this necessary; and how we go about this? Strategies take time.