Explain the difference between strategic and tactical as it relates to a business.

The terms strategic and tactical are typically used in a business environment to refer to the two main types of planning, thinking, or actions that takes place.  Plainly stated, strategic refers to "what” and “why" the business chooses to do something and tactical refers to "how” they plan to accomplish it. 

Strategic thinking, planning, and actions are rooted in a company’s ability to understand the environment they operate within, recognize developing patterns and trends within the industry, anticipate issues that may arise within the current operating environment, predict outcomes of planned initiatives and how they might impact the company’s direction, and develop sound fallback plans to mitigate the risk of a miscalculation. Strategic planning in particular deals with the mission and purpose of the organization, its value proposition, i.e., what value it delivers to the customer, as well as the company’s future direction and growth.

Tactical refers to how the company or manager plans to get the job done or achieve the particular strategic objective.  Tactical thinking and planning considers the resources available (time, money, people) along with the risks or challenges that may be encountered, and determines the most efficient way to use those resources to achieve strategic goals while delivering quality results.

Some often remember the two concepts by using the mnemonic device, “strategic is doing the right things—tactical is doing things right”.

Chris Adams
LinkedIn Profile

posted @ Saturday, December 5, 2009 5:11 PM by Chris Adams