One of the most talented business leaders I know is Dave King from The Horst Group. He is an incredibly disciplined leader that gets things done. The level of implementation in all areas of the business is one of the best I have seen in any organization.
About a year ago I was challenging Dave on refining and improving his strategic and tactical planning to incorporate more elements into his execution. He told me that his problem was that he is very “Stratactical”.
I know, not a word. Don’t let that distract you.
He went on to explain that he gets deep enough into strategy to know a good direction of the business, but then dives into the tactical to get to action. I had to think long and hard about this concept. He saw it as a bit of a negative, but also saw how it was working for him and his agency. He had been able to get a lot of great results and had built a world class agency. Not a bad outcome!
So, as I have pondered this word and concept of “stratactical”, I think I have figured it out. It actually has a place in business and can be very effective. Here are the pros and cons of being “stratactical”. Oh, and sorry Dave… I am giving you credit forever on the word, but I am going to become the expert on the concept!
Clarity in defining stratactical: Stratactical is where time and energy are spent thinking about the goals and objectives of the company. When the outcomes are very clear, time is spent on the best methods to get there. Now, a formal strategic plan would require NO distraction to go to resource allocation and action plans to be developed at this time. However, when you are stratactical you move back and forth between strategy and immediate action tactics to get results. So, tactics (deployment of resource) are established with who/what/when elements made very clear.
- Allows for quick action and clear alignment from strategy to tactics.
- Gets results fast compared to a slower model of development and communication of strategy before tactical implementation.
- Is brilliant in an uncertain economy or market where change is imminent and unknown as to the timing. It allows for quick hit improvements versus a long term process that has no meaning when major change takes place or other plans can’t move forward.
- Works when immediate change or results are necessary.
- Is easy to get quick buy in from others.
- Is much easier to do.
- Since most companies don’t have strategic thinkers, it is more effective than doing no strategic planning (or no planning) at all.
- Strategic plans can be too long term and lack flexibility. The business world is more complex, dynamic, and changing that any time in history.
- Isn’t a great long term strategy. Has a tendency to be scattered and could lose focus on a bigger picture outcome.
- Is very difficult to capture all the right strategies. However, it does fall into the 80% category. Meaning, 80% right and in action is better than 100% right and not executed!
- Can lose the value of bigger issues like the company “WHY” and other points of clarity.
- Won’t get maximum results of a company’s potential compared to solid strategic planning.
I think the calendar is a terrible thing in business planning. It is not necessary that we do everything in a 12-month period. So, we need to get our minds away from calendar thinking and align with our company needs. We should create a strong strategic plan that identifies what we want to accomplish and then create the best strategies for us to accomplish those strategies. Then we need to be stratactical in our efforts until we finish that strategic plan. So, if the plan will take us 2, 3, or 5 years, we should be stratactical along the way. Look at different strategies that would work along the way that will enhance our ability to execute the bigger long-term strategy. Constant movement and change of the tactics will allow a business to flex in the frequently changing business environment we are in today.
If we are lucky, we can execute like Dave and have someone write a blog about us!