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Difference Between Tactics And Strategy

strategyTactics vs Strategy

Strategy has to do with the bigger picture, while tactics is what one uses at the moment to deal with a situation. This can be best exemplified by the example of war. There will always be a larger strategy or game plan in a war. For example a General might decide that he will take enemy territory using tanks. That’s strategy. To operationalize that strategy the commander of a tank regiment would have to study the territory in question and come up with the tactics to be deployed to achieve the set objective.

Tactics are the day to day decisions that one has to take to carry forward a strategy to its logical outcome. Strategy on the other hand has to do with perspective. It encompasses the overall plan to achieve a certain objective. Without a well thought out strategy any endeavor would be a blind shot in the dark. There will neither be a planned direction in which you would want to proceed nor would there be any idea about the methods to be deployed to get anywhere.

The funny thing though is this. Strategy has long been considered to be the domain of the superior thinker who can visualize the future and make grand plans to take his organization there. For that he draws up a grand plan the implementation of which is left to intellectually inferior minions who have to resort to tactics to make any headway in accordance with the leader’s plan. Ironically it is often the thinking on the feet tactician who has to contend with real situations who saves the day. Sometimes strategy is all talk and thunder while tactics is action and reality.

However it is nobody’s case that you throw strategy out of the window. Without strategy to guide one, tactics will achieve nothing. Any company or organization will not prosper unless it is able to marry the skills of both strategists and tacticians. Strategists are able to select the right long term objectives as well as decide on the means to go in that direction Tacticians on their part will make full use of the available means on a day to day basis to best achieve the strategist’s long term objectives.

You need different types of people with different levels of skills and competencies to strategize and devise tactics for an organization. The thing is that tactics without strategy amounts to nothing. If labor supervisors in ancient Egypt deployed a mass of men to move stones to the site of a pyramid construction, the tactic was probably right in terms of the number of men required to push a certain number of stones. But what would really make this effort worthwhile would be the prior provision for building a ramp from where the stones lie to the exact site of the pyramid. Now that’s strategy. Tactics need to flow from strategy and mostly not vice versa.

Summary:
1.Strategy has to do with the bigger picture, while tactics is what one uses at the moment to deal with a situation.
2.Tactics are the day to day decisions that one has to take to carry forward a strategy to its logical outcome. Strategy on the other hand has to do with perspective.
3.Without strategy to guide one, tactics will achieve nothing.


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