The Idea Dude


Friday, November 09, 2007

Chasing rainbows

Understanding the difference between strategic initiatives and tactical implementations is important for any company to survive over the long term. It is equally important that management can communicate the difference to their employees. Sometimes it is necessary to take tactical steps to achieve your strategic goal, like putting gas in your car. However, sometimes we overreact to a competitor announcement or a customer complaint. How many times have you heard a CEO rushing in asking everyone to drop what they are doing and do a quick prototype to win an account. More often than not, the account is not won and a week later the cycle starts again. Pretty soon, employees become disgruntled refusing to put in long hours and weekends because it is becoming a case of "chicken little" each time.

A friend of mine has the analogy of standing under tree. The branches move as the wind blows so that sunlight streams down from different places through the gaps in the leaves. So we constantly run from spot to spot trying to catch the sunlight. Of course, the sunlight moves constantly and we quickly grow tired and frustrated and perhaps even a little angry with the tree. Perhaps we need to step away from the tree to see the sunlight in all its glory.

So often the tactical things we do each day overwhelms us, so much so we lose the meaning in our lives. It is hard to step back and decide each that there are things I need to do simply because I have to do them. But there are others where I have a choice and I must take the responsibility to make them, or risk my life being overrun by insignificance.

So what good is our execution no matter how superb if they do not work towards the goal we have in mind?


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