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Tactics and Strategy

In a quiet moment I watched my youngest son playing chess on my phone. He cut a swathe through the opposition pieces with a couple of his pawns, but all the while the computer slowly moved its other pieces into position, weaving a net and closing it until – suddenly, it seemed to my son – the computer had all the options and he had none, and it was check, check, checkmate.

There was an old tactician who swallowed a spider

They say tactics eats strategy for lunch, and they have a point: if you can’t execute well at a small scale on the front line, you’re finished.

The purpose of strategy is to make sure that your tactics are applied to the right problems so that your small victories on the front line contribute to your overall aims.

One of the effects of good strategy is to increase your tactical options, and to reduce those of your opposition.

Good strategy puts you in right place at the right time with enough of the right people and resources – and the ability to deploy them as needed – that it’s easy to make good moves.

  • Are you investing in a way that will increase your resources and freedom to move in future?
  • Are you regularly doing the generative work of meeting new people and exploring new ideas?
  • Are you creating tools and systems that will make tomorrow easier?

See also:

James Holland on strategy, operations and tactics

Peter Drucker on nonprofit strategy

Seth Godin on a strategy of generous connection

Strategy: from ideas to value propositions to business models

Strategy (1): What is Strategy?

Strategy (2): Strategy is dynamic

Strategy (3): Strategy is about the big picture (relatively)

Strategy (4): Strategy is a practice

(more posts on strategy)

I'd love to hear your thoughts and recommended resources...