What Is the Meaning of Strategic Intent?

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"Strategic intent is defined as a compelling statement about where an organization is going that succinctly conveys a sense of what the organization wants to achieve long-term." according to the University of Illinois at Springfield website.


In 1973 Gary Hamel and C. K. Prahalad wrote an article titled: "Strategic Intent" that led many companies to reevaluate their approach to decision-making. At that time, Japanese companies had become global leaders, at least in part due to fostering an environment where employees work hard to meet seemingly unattainable goals.

Characteristics of strategic intent

According to Hamel and Prahalad, strategic intent captures the essence of winning, it is stable over time, and it sets a target that deserves personal effort and commitment. Strategic intent goes beyond simply copying what competitors are doing.


How does a company foster personal effort and commitment?

According to Hamel and Prahalad, top management must first create a sense of urgency and then develop a competitor focus at every level through widespread use of competitive intelligence. Leadership must also provide employees with the skills they need to work effectively and not try to pursue too many challenges at one time.



About the Author

Nancy Landahl is a business consultant who began writing in 1996 for business process transformation consulting firms with Fortune 100 clients. Her first article was published in “The Woman CPA.” She is a certified public accountant and has a Master of Science in accounting from Colorado State University.

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