The word “strategic” is overused in business conversations. What used to be “let’s discuss and reach a decision” has become “let’s discuss strategically and make a decision” or “let’s discuss and make a strategic decision.”
Which would be great except that 90% of the time nothing strategic is being discussed. Whats often meant is “let’s get this right.” Adding the word “strategic” is helpful when it accurately captures the essence of a conversation but can mislead or distract when it’s unnecessary or inaccurate. A dumbing down of this important language is bad for business.
A topic is strategic when it is deliberately connected to business values, mission, vision and/or goals. Specific action items to execute a strategy are considered tactics.
Why does it matter? In my experience, the two reasons that most companies achieve underwhelming success are sub-optimal strategies and inconsistent and inadequate tactical effort to drive results.
So, what’s a strategist to do? Here’s my prescription:
- Clarify your vision and most critical business goals
- Understand your company’s strengths and weaknesses
- Understand the market and your competitors
- Craft strategies that give you sustainable competitive advantage. This generally means leveraging your strengths and market opportunities and mitigate your weaknesses and market threats
- Craft practical tactics to execute your strategies
Need help? A good tactic would be to call me right now!