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Strategy vs. Tactic: What’s the Difference?

Here we are moving through the 4th quarter of 2016 and I bet you’re thinking what I’m thinking…Time to plan for 2017!  I hate to wear out an old cliché, but….”where does the time go?”

Now is a great time to review the year so far and look at your metrics or Key Performance Indicators (KPI’s) to see how well you have done against your Strategic Plan. If you don’t have a Strategic  Plan, then set a goal to create one before the end of the year.  It’s your road map to growing and improving your company.

Many times I hear the question “how are strategies and tactics different?” and I think it’s a good question, so let’s  talk about it.  If you have a goal of driving sales revenue by 15% next year, your strategy could be to revamp your marketing plan. The tactics within the strategy are the steps and tasks that ‘live out’ the strategy. Some of those tactics could be to increase your social media presence, do more blogging, or join and attend trade association meetings.  All of these can help drive revenue, if done right and consistently.

Another strategy could be to increase  a culture of team work with your staff. Some tactics to accomplishment could be to host an offsite team building workshop, conduct regular staff meetings with interactive participation, or share your company’s vision and values on a regular basis with your staff. Some of my clients go so far as to post their values or mission statement in a prominent place conveying it to employees and customers whenever they pass by.

Whatever your goals are for the rest of the year, make sure your strategies align with them and then determine what tactics are necessary to live out the strategy and thereby accomplish the goal.  It’s normal for companies to continue many of the same strategies into the new-year, as long as they are relevant and moving the company forward.  If you find yourself behind what you planned to get done, get the team together, discuss your values, ask for input and engage them to make a push to end the year on a high note. There’s still time!

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