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Strategy and Tactics November 30, 2011

Posted by Jason in Management.
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Business strategy guides an organization toward common goals.  It is a vital organ throughout the life of the business, though no two are the same.  However, strategy says little about day to day activities – the tactics of running an operation in order to meet the strategic goals.

The reason for this is quite simple: long-term strategy will never be able to predict the real-time conditions in which decisions must be made.  Therefore, the organization’s management must be able to internalize the strategy such that a decision that goes against it will feel downright uncomfortable.

On the other hand, they cannot expect that every decision will have a firm basis in a strategy document.  There is a lot of gray area between vision and execution.

One of the best definitions of vision I’ve heard is this:

“A vision presents a clear goal, but not the path to get there.”

It’s like a mountain on the horizon.  You follow the general direction, even when the path is not straight and there are obstacles in the way.  When you pause to get your bearings, the goal is still there.  Adjustments and deviations from the shortest path are a part of the journey.