Strategy is the what (what you want to achieve), and tactics are the how (how you will achieve it).
Most organizations are able to develop a great strategy, but fail at the tactical execution stage. This is often due to the fact that the activities the organization performs are not aligned with the strategy it developed. In other words, how the organization goes about trying to execute the strategy is not aligned with what the organization is trying to achieve.
Think about the “customer-facing” organization that only contacts customers when there is something new to sell, or the "entrepreneurial" organization where all decisions must be approved by the CEO, or the company who preaches diversity yet has a management team who are all the same ethnicity. These are all cases where strategy and tactics are not aligned.
Here are a few reasons why it is essential to align your organizational strategy and tactics:
- You ensure productivity of your resources because they are only focused on activities that add value to your organization
- You eliminate duplication of effort and gaps in accountability
- You are able to measure success and results
- You are able to respond quickly when activities are not helping to achieve your desired outcome
- You achieve better results because everyone understands the desired outcome
- You have a clear roadmap to communicate both internally and externally
- You ensure that all employees understand their role in achieving the desired future state
- You provide a clear message to employees and the marketplace about who you are and what you want to achieve
- You increase your abiltiy to attract and retain the best people
- You elicit trust from your customers, leading to stronger loyalty