Strategy and TacticsMay 21, 2012 Comments Off on Strategy and Tactics
I just read a helpful Upmarket blog post on the distinction between strategy and tactic. It was almost a relief to know that the business sector also struggles with the distinction. Confusing these two terms has led to a lot of trouble in our work for social change.
Mark St. Cyr puts it this way:
You’ll hear most incorrectly use the term strategy as a descriptor for their long-term discussions, and tactics for their short-term. Strategy and tactics have nothing to do with time frames, nor are they interchangeable. They have two very distinct and different meanings with time frames not being one of them.
Strategy has to do with the direction of your life or business. Tactics are what you’ll use to implement the strategy.
You can and need a strategy and tactics to implement it. Not one without the other on any time line. They go hand in hand.
I have participated in endless ideological conversations on whether and how to engage the electoral process in the work for social change. To some, it is a strategy in itself: we will get what we want when we win. To others, it is a tactic: electoral engagement is key to implementing our strategy to achieve a more just world.
I can’t help noting that too often, even those who understand electoral engagement as a tactic actually behave as if it was their strategy. It is so easy to lose perspective.
I have a vision. It is a vision of a more just and sustainable world. I have vision of a world that works within the rhythms of nature, and a people who are aligned with an evolutionary thrust. My vision is of a world that is conducive to awakening, a way of life that is more organic than industrial, a way of being-with that augments our individual autonomy while actually bringing us closer together.
I seek to live my life in ways that can strategically build towards that vision. My strategy gives certain parameters to the ways in which I will work towards my vision. Mine is a strategy that focuses on building collaborative capacity and nurturing state experiences that can give us a taste of freedom. My strategy seeks to raise consciousness and unleash creative potential. It is a strategy that seeks a dramatic paradigm shift – a shift so powerful that it will make the dominant paradigm oppression crumble at its gaze.
There are tactics by which I seek to implement that strategy. It includes collaboration with those who are engaging the electoral process and making progress on the policy domain. But it also includes the nurturing of networks of authentic relationship among those who are passionate about transformation. My tactics include the active melding of ideas and actors across sectors and approaches – arts, spirituality and yes, business.
Vision, strategy, tactics.
Passion, commitment, wakefulness.
Let’s learn to live in the world we are trying to build.
How we get there is as important as getting there.