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makes it simple
October 6, 2010, 12:46 pm
Filed under: Digital Strategy

Last night at Digital Citizens I asked the panelists who presented three responses to briefs:

#digicitz with respect my q to all is: what is the difference between a list of tactics and a strategy

Check out the live stream to find the responses

My call is (in this context)

a list of tactics is what could be done, the strategy is what should be done


12 Comments so far
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Isn’t the strategy your intended endpoint? One or many things might help you get to that endpoint, even if the strategy itself changes.
You can be tactical without having a strategy sure, but can you have an effective strategy without some tactics?

Comment by franksting

Not on board that strategy is the endpoint. For me strategy ‘how you roll’ to get there. It’s how you choose which tactics to use.

Comment by katiechatfield

Agree. Tactics are merely the tools and how best to use them. Strategy is what you hope to achieve. An understanding of which can lead you to select the correct tools and use them in the best way.

Using a snow shovel is a tactic. Clearing the snow from in front of your shop so more customers can get in is a strategy.

In military terms, tactics are how you deploy and direct your troops to win a battle, strategy would be why you chose to have that battle (amongst others) in that place at that time and against that enemy force as part of the overall gameplan to win the war.

Tactics allowed Rommel to win certain battles in Northern Africa. Strategy led them to try to take Northern Africa in the first place in their plans to subjugate Europe.

Comment by Kimota

My 2 cents…

Tactics are the components that allow you to deliver your strategy (aka the strategic goal/s). I think if it takes you more than a short sentence to articulate your strategy, you’re probably veering into tactics…a common mistake.

Comment by Rachael Lonergan


Comment by katiechatfield

Did you make them cry or babble?

Comment by Gavin Heaton

to their credit no one cried…..

Comment by katiechatfield

A strategy is an idea driven by an objective
Tactics are how you achieve that objective.

Comment by acatinatree

I love that you’ve included objectives here- for me it was tacit in the use of the word ‘should’ (which to me denotes that there’s a reason for the statement.)

In this case (or what I was putting forward in the post) the question is “What is the answer to this brief?”. So a list of what could be done is not the right answer. A statment of what should be done is probably better if what is being asked of you is to deliver a strategy.

In your framing of your premises it looks like tactics could achieve objectives without strategy (and without ideas).

(Apologies for the rudimentary logic semantics)

Should your second premise read:
Tactics are how you deliver/achieve that strategic idea?

While I agree that strategy is driven by objectives…is it an idea? I tend to think that it is an approach…

Comment by katiechatfield

I too think strategy is an approach, not purely an idea. Strategies may be idea led, but they can just as easily be time led, budget led, ego led…..

Comment by Rachael Lonergan

ooh- I hadn’t thought of that. Nice one Rach

Comment by katiechatfield

I love it… We always try to over think the production and not the results. Thanks for the reminder.

Comment by Pablo Edwards

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