Do you have a strategic plan? Are you really just pushing through each moment of each day by responding to situations with tactical approaches?
In the workplace, tactics sometimes become a form of organizational firefighting. Whatever the emergency is, people jump in to solve the problem.
Jumping in to solve the problem is important, it is also valuable. Does it connect to strategy?
A quick reaction might be, “Of course it does.” Yet, does it really, or is it taking away from the strategic focus?
Solving a customer problem might be considered a tactical approach that is consistent with strategy.
The strategy is, delight the customer, the tactic is, solve the problem.
However, delighting the customer should be a strategic focus that means you don’t have to resolve a breakdown in order to provide delight.
A good strategic plan includes goals and objectives. The goals and objectives are pursued relentlessly through tactics.
Tactics may need to be adjusted, but it is not as common to throw away the strategic plan and start over.
The confusion seems to set in when the focus of the why seems to get overrun by the how.
Delighting customers through never ending problem solving is not a good strategy. It is a tactic, overrun with the mechanics of how.
Tactics often become reactionary. They are thrown in motion because something unexpected popped up. In some cases, people and organizations pride themselves on tactical firefights.
The ability to be responsive and solve problems is important. In some industries, that is the service model. For everyone else, allowing tactical firefights to consume your day probably means you need to take another look at your strategy.
Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and culture expert. He is a five-time author and the founder of Appreciative Strategies, LLC. His business focuses on positive human performance improvement solutions through Appreciative Strategies®. Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.