What Are the Dangers of Working on Tactics Without a Clear Strategy?

You don’t have unlimited time or resources to do a hundred things. If your organization is ‘raining down’ with tactics you could be chasing stuff as opposed to being guided by the strategic direction you have set.

Here are characteristics of both types of organizations.

If the ‘tactics drive’ scenario sounds familiar, take a step back, get your strategy defined and then decide on the critical few projects necessary to achieve it.

When tactics drive activity…

- numerous projects are going on; people complain that there is too much to do.
aspirations drive the activity, like ‘we intend to be best in customer service’ which are meaningless to most customers.
- many project teams are struck throughout the organization. Almost everyone is on one.
- projects are measured individually in terms of deliverables.
- activities lack a strong common thread among them.
- divergent actions persist. Projects are in conflict and are often heading in opposite directions.
- projects are often lead by individual Departments and carry with them intrinsic bias as a result.
- people are frustrated with too much activity and lack of synergy.
- people complain that there is no approved course that all of the activities follow.
- leadership is criticized for not providing the overall direction to justify all of the projects going on.
- consultants are brought in to assist and they are forced to subordinate organizational issues to those of the individual projects.

When the strategy drives activity…

- a handful of projects key to influencing 80% of the results are active.
- the business plan drives all the activity. Everyone has direct line of sight to it for guidance.
- a few focused project teams exist.
- projects are measures in terms of business plan expectations.
- the common thread among all activities is contribution to the business plan.
synergy acts among all activities; they are monitored to ensure they are acting in unison.
- projects are primed at the organization level. Project leaders are appointed corporately based on skills and competencies to deliver expected results.
- people are energized as efforts are focused and are balanced to achieve the most meaningful results.
- people recognize that the business plan is the driving force behind all that goes on.
- leaders are acknowledged as effectively moving the organization forward.
- consultant activity is limited to areas where new expertise is required. They are all managed relative to business plan results.

Avoid the tactics until you are satisfied you have a clear enough business plan to be a beacon of all activity in your organization.

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