Strategic & Tactical Approaches: What’s the Difference?

strategic and tactical approaches

IT’S EASY TO feel confident in your business strategy when everything is working to your advantage. It is much more challenging to regroup and strategize in order to grow the business. Being a leader of a business, it is your responsibility to make decisions on allocating its resources to pursue a strategic approach. You cannot allow yourself to give in to the temptation to quit. There is always an upgrade attached to the growing pains you are seeing in your company.

I have noticed a trend in businesses that have plateaued. There is a direct correlation between these companies’ strategic approach and tactical approach. What is the difference? Being in this industry for over 25 years has allowed me to zero in on how to execute both approaches in a way that will ensure success and growth.

Strategic planning is an organization’s process of defining its strategy, or direction, and making decisions on allocating its resources to pursue this strategy. It may also extend to control mechanisms for guiding the implementation of the strategy.

Strategic planning allows the company to operate with a clear vision. Imagine you are sitting in the passenger seat of the business you are helping grow. You will see each goal accelerate into overdrive and pass one milestone after another. Eventually, however, you helplessly watch as it swerves aimlessly due to no implementation of a tactical approach. Both approaches should work hand in hand. It is only then that you will see growth.

our environment is constantlyWondering how to get started on creating or strengthening your strategic approach? Planning. Strategic planning puts you behind the steering wheel. It serves as a roadmap that defines the direction a company must travel, and that helps leaders like YOU prepare for potential roadblocks. Companies and markets without this foundation and foresight are far more likely to get lost or stuck. Being more strategic will allow you to relate to the identification of long-term or overall aims and interests and the means of achieving them. Each company should take strategic actions to cope with the fundamental changes in the environment. At Becker Logistics, we also place a high value on focusing on skill sustainability resources through our Learning and Development Team and our Organizational Behavior Department Team. Becker Logistics believes that in order to be strategic you need to think strategically. These two departments allow employees to have an open mindset.

Tactical planning relates to our constituents planned actions to gain a specific military/business or personal end to something. Some say the best way to describe a tactical approach is to, “Cowboy it up” or, “Fly by the seat of one’s pants.” The idea behind the tactical approach is to aim beyond the immediate action. I like to think of the tactical approach as the playbook; inside you find a step-by-step plan to achieve the desired end goal. The tactical approach should be detailed and clear. Above mission is vision. It is a way of seeing into the future. Maybe somewhere you ought to be. What you see there is a combined thought of people toward something greater than one’s self, and that is a collective purpose of all people; to have that vision realized, all people must buy into the mission.

Your strategic and tactical approach should be a conversation you revisit often. Our environment is constantly changing and being able to adapt and adjust your plan will be critical in order to be successful. Each plan should work together, hand in hand as should the team. What you will see is a combined effort of people working together toward something greater than one’s self and that is a collective purpose of all people; to have that vision realized. Each person on your team must buy into that mission. Those objective key results are the pathway. Growth and change are needed in order to take your business to the next level.

At Becker Logistics, we strive to keep up with the industry trends and changes. I lead my team with these statements as the forefront of our vision, “If we are not growing, we are dying” and “If nothing changes, nothing changes.”

Jim Becker is Chairman-CEO of Becker Logistics, LLC.