Strategy and Tactics

I used to work for a big boss who often shared tidbits of humorous wisdom during some of the smaller meetings we have when he reviews our work. He usually have his set of 2×2 matrix which he comes up with analogies about all kinds of things. One of these matrices is about strategy and tactics. He reminds us that they are different and also that people with different combination of intelligence about strategy and tactics would derive quite different outcomes.

So we have 4 quadrants, from the combination of high and low abilities in strategy and in tactics. So there’s the ones who are high on strategy and tactics. He calls them the guided missiles; they do well at strategising and executes them well, on-point, on-target with resources optimised. Then there are those who are high on strategy but low on tactics; he calls them the empty canon (or artillery), they’d point at the enemy and at the right angle but then when it comes down to firing, nothing gets hit. Then there are those who are low on strategy and high on tactics; he says that’s the machine gun; you fire blatantly hoping you’ll hit the target which you might but also drain a lot of resources and potentially cause collateral damage.

Finally, those low on strategy and tactics are submarines. They’re just hanging around. But maybe, they are carrying a guided missile with them.

So who are you, and are you thinking about strategy and tactics clearly? Do you differentiate them?

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