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Differences between Policy and Strategy

Differences between Policy and Strategy

There is a lot of confusion surrounding the terms “policy” and “strategy.” Many people use them interchangeably, but there are distinct differences between the two. In this blog post, we will explore the differences between policy and strategy and explain how each one can be used to achieve success in business. We will also discuss when it is appropriate to use each one. So, what are the differences between policy and strategy? Let’s find out!

What is Policy?

  • The policy is a broad term that can refer to a wide variety of things. In general, the policy is a set of principles or guidelines that are used to make decisions. The policy can be created by governments, businesses, or individuals.
  • It can be written down or simply understood as an unwritten rule. A policy can be used to shape behavior, guide decision-making, or promote a particular goal. For example, a company might have a policy that employees must clock out for breaks.
  • A government might have a policy about how much money can be spent on advertising. Individuals might have personal policies about how they spend their free time. Ultimately, the policy is a tool that can be used to direct and shape behavior.

What is Strategy?

Strategy, according to the business dictionary, is “a plan of action designed to achieve a long-term or overall aim.” In simpler terms, strategy is a plan. This plan could be for a company, individual, or anything else with set goals.

  • The goals themselves could be varying degrees of difficulty and may or may not be achievable. Strategy comes into play when thinking about how to best achieve these goals. Oftentimes people will use the resources they have at their disposal to create the best chance for success.
  • This might mean allocating time, money, or energy in a certain way to have the most impact. Strategy can help simplify complex problems and provide a roadmap for decision-making.
  • It can also help identify opportunities and potentially avoid risks. Strategy is not only about planning for the future but also reacting and adapting to changing circumstances. Simply put, strategy is a mindset and toolkit for dealing with change and achieving goals.

Differences between Policy and Strategy

Policy and strategy may seem like similar concepts, but there are some important distinctions between the two.

  • The policy is a broad statement of intent that guides decisions and actions. In contrast, strategy is a specific plan of action designed to achieve a specific goal. policies are typically formulated by high-level decision-makers, while strategies are typically developed by front-line managers.
  • A key difference between policy and strategy is that policies are externally focused, while strategies are internally focused. That is, policies are created in response to external factors such as government regulations or competitive pressures, while strategies are created in response to internal factors such as organizational strengths and weaknesses.
  • As a result, policies tend to be more rigid and inflexible than strategies. Another key difference between policy and strategy is that policies tend to be more long-term in nature, while strategies tend to be more short-term.

Finally, it is worth noting that while all organizations need policies, not all organizations need formal strategies. In many cases, an organization’s strategy will emergent from the day-to-day actions of its employees.


Despite their similarities, policy and strategy are two distinct concepts. In order to effectively execute your business goals, it’s important to understand the differences between the two.

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