Strategy and Tactics. Though both words have a different purpose, they are often interchanged, and, in my opinion, they go hand in hand. I believe one without the other is useless: strategy is about where you are going and why you want to go there, while tactics are the steps you will take to get to where you want to go.
In many cases we forget about the strategy and dive right into the tactics we use to accomplish our goals. This method is like getting in the car and driving with no destination in mind. Just doing something for the sake of doing it is the equivalent of being busy but not productive. We are all guilty of it from time to time. Mindless actions, like going to the grocery store without a list, not only leave us frustrated, but can sometimes require us to take a second trip back to that very store. If we had a clear strategy, we could have been more productive with our time and saved ourselves the headache.
The reason we need an end goal, not just the what but also the why, is to know where we are heading and knowing what to do when we get there. We need to look at the big picture, and once that is established, we can then figure out exactly how we are going to get there.
When I have run projects in the past, I would know what the end goal was as well as be told how to accomplish it. Seems straightforward, but the issue in this process is that there isn’t much thinking required, let alone the creative thinking that may solve other challenges. Sometimes we need to think outside the box and not get distracted with the obvious actions to accomplish it.
Back to the grocery shopping issue, what if you realized that if you get the groceries delivered it will accomplish your goal and save you time, isn’t that a better result? Using a little creativity and not being bogged down with the obvious goes a long way.
“Strategy without tactics is the slowest route to victory. Tactics without strategy is the noise before defeat.” – Sun Tzu
What’s your strategy this weekend?