A Kayaker’s View of Strategy and Tactics
I was not moving, stuck against a rock and fighting the current. It took all the effort I had to make progress. My choices were to figure out a new approach to moving my kayak or getting out and admitting defeat. I finally leveraged my way into open water. In that moment, a river, some rapids, and a kayak reinforced the difference between strategy and tactics.
Kayakers know the joy from hitting a set of rapids just right with your boat flowing perfectly through the water and rocks, enjoying the ride, and coming out with your kayak positioned to take on the next challenge. You also know it takes a lot of work and things don’t always go as planned.
Sometimes you get a little off course. You underestimated the power of the current. You didn’t act early enough to put the kayak in position to navigate the rocks or shallow water.
When that happens, you react. You paddle harder to change direction. You temporarily get stuck by the current, and it takes strength and willpower to get free. You may have to get out of the boat and reset. You may need help from your companions along for the journey.
When you first approach the rapids, you look downstream and assess the path you should take and where you want to end up. That’s your strategy. As you begin navigating downstream, you respond to obstacles and successes, moving closer toward your destination. Those are your tactics.
Business is no different. You have a path you believe will take you to destination successfully. As you work toward your goal, wins and obstacles come at you randomly and unexpectedly along the way. You change your tactics and adjust, keeping your eye on the future. You create a strategy and implement tactics to take you to your goal. And sometimes you may need to reassess your situation, change your direction, and maybe ask for help.
If you are stuck against the rocks and fighting the current in your business, take a moment and reassess the situation. How do your tactics need to change? Would you benefit from help or a new perspective?
Contact OPG if you need help with your strategy and tactics. http://linkedin.com/in/cmatt
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