If anyone saw the loss of the New England Patriots to the Miami Dolphins game, you might want to question the strategy of the coaches in tactics. All New England players needed to do was to kick the field goal in the last 4 minutes to win the game, but the coach’s strategy was to win by touchdown. That tactical decision caused the loss. The “tactic” to win was to kick the damn field goal.
This is what Google said about Strategy: “A strategy is a long-term plan on what to do to achieve a certain goal”, but to achieve those goals, it needs locally designed tactics, implemented by people who actually run the business day by day.
Business strategies are the essence of the soul of every business, but it’s the tactics that execute the mission. So, if the strategy is sound, but tactics are missing, what’s the danger? So to learn more, I went back to my friend, Maurice D. Smith, Ed.D., University Registrar/Chief Administrative Officer at The University of West Indies.
He referenced the University’s 5-year plan for 2017-2022. It was a simple strategy, easy to understand, easy to implement; it’s called the “Triple A”. That stands for Access; Agility; and Alignment to achieve the greater goal of Revitalizing Caribbean Development. Each of the A’s becomes the tactics for achieving the ultimate goal.
Maurice was clear that challenges of cascading, planning and development at local levels, training to implement will exist, but that’s true of every tactic in strategic planning. His plan is dependent on local leader collaboration with other leaders to minimize the barriers. His plan is for each department leader to design his own operational plan for each of the A’s. This seems like a strong practical approach.
Those that are expected to execute need to be part of the process. With these tactics locally designed, accountability, responsibility, and implementation become the personal responsibility of each department lead. The expectation is that local leaders will be able to reinvent, build capacity, and provide a means to celebrate successes.
This strategy is a bottom-up approach, but will depend on the willingness of local leaders to jump on the bandwagon. The idea that support and encouragement from the senior leaders will become the catalyst. The lessons learned: If the players in the field could have decided, they would have kicked the field goal for the Patriots win.
TAKE AWAY: If you trust your managers and give them the tools to win, you are empowering them to lead.
Stanley Labovitz, J.D., CEO
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Author: Back From The Brink