Time for Tactical and Strategic Work

Most entrepreneurs are doers, meaning they enjoy rolling up their sleeves and working directly on whatever needs to get done. Similar to the idea that if you want to something done, ask a busy person to do it. Only, there’s all this talk that entrepreneurs should work on the business instead of in it. One challenge that comes up repeatedly is making time for tactical and strategic tasks.

Here are a few thoughts on making time for tactical and strategic work:

Constantly switching between tactical and strategic work is a real challenge for entrepreneurs. Naturally, human nature is to go towards the easiest tasks — tactical in nature — and to put off strategic items. Entrepreneurs need to make time for strategic work.

What else? What are some more thoughts on time for tactical and strategic work?

3 thoughts on “Time for Tactical and Strategic Work

  1. Strategic thinking gets you out in front and tactical works allows you to catch-up to the strategy. Then, repeat this exercise regularly. Take a minimum of 1-2 2 week vacations a year without a cell phone to work on your strategic thinking and disconnect while your team works on the tactics to get caught up to you! Have fun while you are at it too! And, don’t take you eye off of the competition but don’t be driving your strategy from the rear view window either! Good luck!

  2. Another great topic!

    My 2cents:

    It’s easy to say that CEO entrepreneurs need to be sure they “work ON the business, as well as, work IN the business” but without context, this is just a “what” without a “how”..…

    The entrepreneur needs a holistic system of their business that clearly identifies the cause-effect for the functionals (sales, marketing, tech, etc.) and how it aggregates for a consolidated outcome. Like the human body is comprised of many systems that all contribute to the daily outcomes of that body.

    Many years ago, I was faced with a similar problem and we created a Systems of Business that clearly segments the strategic part of a business by functionals with clear integration of the tactics with metrics. As the business grows, the system adapts but the fundamentals and logic stay intact. Using this system allowed our team to understand what is strategic and what is tactical so they can invest their time better and focus energy appropriately. When the strategically designed tactics are being executed, then the strategic outcome is pre-determined. If you don’t define the desired strategic outcome and just execute on tactics, then the outcome can be unknown. Many businesses just “do” every day without a strong understanding of the potential outcome from the conglomeration of many people from many areas of the business all “doing”.

    I share this to make the point that you need an approach to the business that makes the denunciation between strategy and tactics clear and purposeful. I see many folks confuse these elements and misunderstand the consequences. Understanding the “cause-effect” relationships is the beginning of applying real strategy to business.

    Even with a system, working on the designed strategy is a challenge for many entrepreneurs because it requires discipline to be willing to execute the strategies. They find it easier to become distracted and work harder IN the business in their area of expertise (selling, coding, marketing, etc.).

    I think the primary responsibility of the CEO entrepreneur is to manage this process and ensure that the entire team understands the system and use it in their planning and execution. Strategic development is not isolated to the CEO but to the leaders of the functionals with orchestration by the CEO. The CEO is aligning the strategies to the Vision of the company and ensuring the company is leveraging their core competencies.

  3. Great topic David. I wish this subject received more emphasis at sites like ATL Tech Village. As a mentor there I can say with confidence the vast majority of start-ups are pursuing tactical actions (read – burning cash) with little to no strategic direction to act as a guide or bumper.

    In my 12 years of consulting for both start-ups and established businesses alike I am continually impressed with how much knowledge of the market that resides in the heads of founder and owners. At the same time I am equally saddened to see them struggle or fail simply because they did not know how or were unwilling to take time to extract this vast reservoir of information and strategically analyze it before plotting their way forward. The saying, “ready shoot, aim” comes to mind.

    Here is wishing every member of the ATL Tech Village a Happy New Year. If your want an idea of a good New Year’s resolution that will assure your business success in 2015 try this: http://growthguy.blogspot.com/2015/01/i-resolve-to.html I dare you! 🙂

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