How Tactical Planning Falls Short
“Strategy without tactics is the slowest route to victory. Tactics without strategy is the noise before defeat.” —Sun Tzu, Art of War
A lean, agile strategic plan beats a purely tactical one for ROI and success. Starting with a good strategy puts you in position to win.
Too many precious resources disappear when the default planning approach favors tactics and pragmatism.
Would you consider starting a road trip by choosing the kind of vehicle you’re going to drive? Before you figure out where you’re headed?
Or get a new pair of shoes…before you know what you’re wearing them to?
Or get on a plane…before you knew its destination?
I’m guessing that chances are pretty good you’d have some kind of plan before taking any of these actions… You’re smart, you’re in business, and you know how to put tasks together into a cohesive order to accomplish a goal.
And yet… many businesses choose a set of business and marketing tactics without doing the planning work.
That’s a pretty strong statement. Here’s an example of what I mean by that: Suppose a competitor started offering a new service. Several advisors for the business ask about why they aren’t offering it. The business leadership decides to plunge into new direction, because otherwise they fear losing customers. On the face of it, we can understand the motivations, risks, and decision.
However, the implications could have a negative overall impact on the business if this new initiative isn’t fully explored and integrated with the current business strategy. What about the core competency of the business? Will this new initiative distract from that? Pull resources away and risk the reputation built on the primary value delivered via the core competency? How does this affect the business’s positioning in the market? Does it reinforce a ‘me too’ stance instead of standing out from the crowd? Or does this create more opportunities than the original business model offered?
That’s the equivalent in your personal life of saying: I need a new pair of shoes. Well, what are you going to use the shoes for? If for running, what level of runner are you? Do you pronate? Or if they’re for work, how casual or dressy? Will you be doing a lot of walking? Are these everyday shoes or once in a while shoes? What color? Style? Price range? How long do you want them to last? Are they for one or two outfits or for half your wardrobe? And there are even more questions you could ask about shoes.
And yet, for an expenditure that may well easily exceed many many times the amount the shoes cost, none of these types of questions get answered, or even asked.
Let’s change that for you.