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What is a Strategy, really?

As someone who has been doing strategy, it has actually never been clear to me what a strategy really is.

As a strategy consultant, strategy is more of a job.

There is a structured methodology to generate strategies. Based on extensive internal and external researches and analysis, a “vision” is generated and then it is broken down into actionable initiatives with “clear” milestones, timelines and persons in charge.

The approach is logically sound and convincing for the clients.

However, to most consultants (like me), it is hard to really make sense of the strategy intuitively. I know how it is logically generated, however, I could not picture and comprehend how it is really like when it is executed and achieved.

It is like a freshly graduated military commander trying to prepare his army for battle.

He can read the map, just as he was taught, but he cannot actually see the landscape, the mountains and rivers etc.