Strategic principle: a memorable and actionable phrase that distills the company’s corporate strategy into its unique essence and communicates it throughout the organization.

i.e.: AOL, Consumer connectivity first – anytime, anywhere
       eBay, Focus on trading communities
       GE, Be number one or two in every industry in which we compete, or get out

A mission statement informs a company’s culture. A strategic principle drives a company’s strategy. A mission statement is aspirational: it gives people something to strive for. A strategic principle is action oriented: it enables people to do something now. A mission statement is meant to inspire frontline workers. A strategic principle enables them to act quickly by giving them explicit guidance to make strategically consistent choices.

Defining attributes of a strategic principle:

  • It should tell a company what to do, ust as important, what not to do.
  • It forces trade-offs between competing resource demands
  • It tests the strategic soundness of a particular action
  • It sets clear boundaries within which employees must operate while granting them freedom to experiment within those constraints
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