Strategic direction setting is a major role of the executive team, whose members must answer the question, "Where we do we want to go?" Then it becomes the job of the rest of the organization to help determine the best path for executing the strategy. That is, managers and employee teams must help executives answer the question, "How are we going to get there?"
Which of these two answers is more important for long-term organizational survival? Is it the first one about strategic direction or the second one about strategy execution? The consensus I hear is that answering the first question correctly is far more critical. Most people believe that good organizational processes and effectiveness will never overcome the adverse effects of a poor strategy. Therefore, strategy formulation by the executives (often aided by consultants) is vital for organizational survival.
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