Tuesday, June 27, 2023

Tactically strategic

It's a familiar refrain: "Think strategically; act tactically"
Sounds good
What does it mean day-to-day?

Two thoughts always in mind:
The first thing is that you hold two thoughts in mind all the times:
  1. First, what strategy are you on; what is your strategic objective, and 
  2. Second, in the moment what is the optimum thing to do which is at worst no more than a suboptimization of the strategic plan.
  • Whatever you are doing is not directly within the planning parameters of the strategy
  • Whatever you are doing, you can justify it for its immediately optimum benefits
  • Whatever you are doing, you can see your way back to the strategy
Thinking strategically
ChatGPT says this: Thinking strategically refers to the cognitive process of analyzing and planning actions, decisions, and goals in a way that considers the long-term implications and maximizes the chances of achieving desired outcomes. 

It involves taking a holistic view of the situation, understanding the potential consequences of various options, anticipating changes and uncertainties, and identifying opportunities and risks. 

Strategic thinking involves assessing the current circumstances, envisioning future scenarios, and formulating effective strategies that align resources and capabilities to achieve a competitive advantage or desired objectives. 

It requires a combination of critical thinking, creativity, problem-solving, and the ability to adapt and adjust plans as needed.

Act tactically
Well, if you are doing all the stuff mentioned above, is there room for tactical actions?
There should be
Whatever is right in front of you probably requires "action this day" as Churchill used to say. 
You may have to divert resources into tactical planning, training, experimentation, modeling, and building prototypes, stubs, and other stuff that may be debris at the end of the day. 

You may have to roll-out an earlier version to meet some milestone, only to pull it back and press on along a somewhat different track to get to back to the strategy. 

Sometimes a tactical response is a dead-end, but it takes a threat off the table, reduces a risk, and may clear an obstacle or constraint that's holding up more strategically compatible actions. 

Of course no one wants to be the tactical sacrifice, or work knowing their outcomes are just throw-aways. But if messaged properly, these tactics can be shown to have overall value-add to the strategic out come.


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