Please have a look at this:

''You need to gather your senior people around you, get their best thinking on the issues facing the company, and develop a solution that not only addresses the crisis of the moment but sets a course to take the company through the tough times"

What does 'sets a course' mean?

Many thanks,


The underlying literal meaning of 'set a course' is this.

eg You are the Captain of a ship. You look at your chart, and decide that the course should be North-West. That's the direction your ship will go in.

Your business example is a figurative use of the expression.

Best wishes, Clive
The whole paragraph means that there are certains issues facing the company which are impeding the operation of the company. You need to gather the senior staff to brainstorm for a solution to resolve these issues, and plan a strategic direction. Set a couse means just that.
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 Clive's reply was promoted to an answer.
A "course", on a square rigged ship, is the lowest (and greatest surface area) sail on a mast. "Setting a course" means opening that sail up to catch the wind, propelling the ship, and thus, if you're setting a course, you're providing that force for moving forward in whatever journey you're setting out on.

Hooray for sailing!

In modern terms then, a mainsail is also a course or is it whichever sail is the largest sail at any given time?

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