Tactical Work vs. Strategic Work

Productivity comes from focusing on what matters most. For busy people, it's not difficult to get bogged down in tactical work and to forget that strategic work is equally important and more effective.

What's the difference between tactical work and strategic work? Here are a few examples:

TACTICAL                                                STRATEGIC

Urgent day-to-day demands                      Urgent longer-term needs

Producing products                                   Serving audiences

Employing and managing people                Developing people

Technical expertise, paperwork                  Solutions, relationship management

One-off, short-term answers                      Long-term process improvements

Bailing water out of the boat daily              Plugging the holes in the boat

Cost take-outs                                          Enhanced productivity


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Read Strategic Thinking and the Maze and Time and Commitment Are Not Synonyms for more discussion and examples of tactical vs. strategic work.  Adopt the 5 Ds approach to make working strategically not just reality, but an everyday habit.