The Difference Between Strategy and Tactics

business strategy and tacticsFor many organizations, strategy (the “why we’re going to do what we’re doing”) is one of those mysterious, behind-closed-doors activities conducted annually by a small group of senior leaders. It’s viewed as a superior mental and managerial activity.

In contrast, tactics (the “how we’re going to do what we’re supposed to do” – the execution element) is typically thought of as the grunt work, relegated to and performed by the rest of the organization. Yet, it’s these tactics – the focused activities performed by every person, every day – which are the difference between organizations that perform predictably and consistently – and those that don’t.

It shouldn’t surprise anyone, then, that:

* Less than 10% of even well-formulated strategies are successfully executed
* Only 5% of employees understand their organization’s strategy
* Only 3% of executives think their company is successful at executing their strategies
* And that “excellence of execution” is the #1 top challenge of CEOs worldwide

Strategy forumation (selecting the right long-term objectives and envisioning a way to get there) — AND consistent execution — are the greatest sets of skills any organization can develop. And, successful organizations need BOTH skills.

BOTTOMLINE: Building an organization that can develop strategy, plan (formulating tactics) and execute is not easy. Developing and executing a strategy that’s balanced in growth and profitability is extremely difficult – and is therefore rare. And what is rare, is considered valuable. It’s time to seek out a revolutionary new approach to the oldest and most difficult challenge in business – one that focuses on the much harder of the two (execution).

Skip ReardonAbout The Guest Author: Skip Reardon is the Director of Digital Marketing and Social Networking for Six Disciplines. A 27-year marketing and communications veteran, he’s also responsible for branding, marketing campaigns, web content and he’s also the editor of the Be Excellent blog.


2 Comments The Difference Between Strategy and Tactics

  1. Rose Anderson

    You’re right Martin. My question also in addition to that is, what are the metrics that we can surely say that it is really the “excellence of execution”


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