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:


Urgent day-to-day demands
Producing products
Employing and managing people
Technical expertise, paperwork
One-off, short-term answers
Bailing water out of the boat daily
Cost take-outs


Urgent longer-term needs
Serving audiences
Developing people
Solutions, relationship management
Long-term process improvements
Plugging the holes in the boat
Enhanced productivity

Read the Suit Yourself Essays entitled Strategic Thinking and the Maze andTime 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.