Strategic Versus Tactical (Operational) Thinking

Strategic Versus Tactical (Operational) Thinking

I.
Thinking/Planning Factors
II.
Strategic Thinking
III.
Tactical (Operational) Thinking
Time Period Longest Period Worth Considering Shortest Period Worth Considering
Reversability Harder Easier
Scope Broad Narrow
Affected Areas Many Functional Areas Few Functional Areas
Goals Means and Ends  Means Only

The Strategy/Operations Relationship – Be a Strategic Thinker

The relationship between strategy and operations can be illustrated in the following way:

  Clear Strategy Unclear Strategy
Effective
Operations
I.
Strategic Thinker

Clear strategy and effective operations have equaled success in the past and will in the future.

II.
Operational Thinker

Unclear strategy but effective operations have equaled success in the past, but success is doubtful in the future.

Ineffective
Operations
III.
Day Dreamer

Clear strategy but ineffective operations have sometimes worked in the past in the short run, but increasing competition makes success doubtful in the future.

IV.
Crisis Thinker

Unclear strategy and ineffective operations have equaled failure in the past and will in the future.

QUESTION: Which box (I-IV) is your organization in today? Why?

The Critical Difference:

Strategy
vs.
Tactics
Central organizing statement.   Day to day actions.
Spin put on things.   Things or tools spun.
Road map for marketing plan.   Vehicles for the trip.
Doing the right thing.   Doing things right.
Concept.   Tools of execution.
Organizing glue.   What gets glued.
Focused.   Typically, many things.
Mental, intangible.   Physical, sensory.
An “action” statement: verb.   Things: nouns.