Strategy Without Tactics is Futile
From time to time there seems to be a flurry of studies and surveys on effective communication in the workplace. As a communication specialist, I'm always eager to read these studies, but am often disappointed with what I see. That's because they all seem to be about communication strategy.
? We must put in place strategies to get our message out to our various publics.
? We must have a communication strategy so that our image and reputation will be disseminated in the way we want it.
It all sounds so one-sided, and even worse, so one-dimensional.
According to my Oxford Dictionary, "strategy" is a military term defined as "generalship, the art of war; management of an army or armies in a campaign; art of so moving or disposing troops or ships as to impose upon the enemy the place and time and conditions for fighting preferred by oneself."
That's all very well as far as it goes, but there are two problems. First, if your soldiers don't have the necessary skills to move the army along, they will never reach the strategic position in the first place. Second, if they don't have the appropriate fighting skills, they won't know what to do once they are in position.
In order to make use of a strategy, you need the other half of the equation: tactics. The same dictionary defines "tactics" as "the art of disposing military or naval forces in actual contact with the enemy". In other words, once your strategy is in place, you must use tactics that will convert your plan into results.
In today's complex, many-faceted workplace, too many laudable communication strategies fail, or at least achieve limited success, because of lack of attention to tactics. By tactics, I mean the way we use applied communication every day to get the work done. As I often tell my audiences, this is not about a system-it's about the skills of those using the system. If the soldiers are not trained in the skills they need to get to the place of engagement as well as to fight the battle, then where is the value of a strategy?
In workplace terms, if employees at all levels don't have the skills to transfer information through presentations, through person-to-person discussion at meetings, through articulate discussion with the media, through the written word in all its forms, to interact with colleagues, customers and other stakeholders-then even the most ambitious strategy is doomed to failure from the start.
Effective workplace communication takes two components: the will and the skill- and one is of no use without the other. Your sales force may be very willing to sell your products, but if they haven't been given the necessary skills they'll starve. Newly promoted, enthusiastic young managers may well have the will to excel in their new responsibilities, but without the necessary training how will they have the skill to run effective meetings, motivate their people or lead winning teams?
Soldiers must be trained to carry out military tactics; employees must be trained to communicate effectively in all workplace interactions.
This is why applied communication is "The Hidden Profit Center". Find those places in your organization where communication is breaking down, and take a close look at what that costs in monetary terms. Identify the missing skills and supply the training necessary to provide them. After a predetermined length of time, quantify the savings in time, opportunity and people: that's your Hidden Profit Center, and you'll be amazed at how enormous it can be.
© 2005 Helen Wilkie All Rights Reserved
You may reprint this article for your online or print publication so long as you include the complete article and the following paragraph:
Helen Wilkie is a professional speaker, consultant and author who helps companies save their money and people save their sanity through better communication. For information about "The Hidden Profit Center", visit mhwcom.com/pages/thehiddenprofitbook.html While you are on the site, subscribe to Helen's e-zine, "Communi-keys", to receive free monthly communication tips and techniques. Communicate and Prosper!
Content Management: Wise Investment for Business Prosperity
What Every Service Provider Ought To Know About Writing A Business Plan
It's easy to lose sight of what needs to be communicated to prospective investors when writing the various sections of a business plan. Successful business owners/entrepreneurs use each section of their business plan to work up interest, to present arguments and, most important, to build trust and confidence.
Connecting Your Offline Business to Your Online Business
These may sound like no brainers, but you'd be surprised. No matter how high-tech your business has become, there is no doubt you still have some non-electronic aspects of your company.
How to Achieve E-commerce Success -You Gotta Plan!
Before becoming a netpreneaur, I was an entrepreneur. First, I owned a successful child care center which grew to capacity in less than two years.
Clearing the Path: 4 Ways Fear Wreaks Havoc on Your Dream and What to Do About It
Please take a moment before you read any further and answer these three simple questions:1. Are you making daily progress towards accomplishing your business vision?2.
How to Start A Business Plan
A business plan precisely defines your business, identifies your goals, and serves as your firm's resume. The basic components include a current and pro forma balance sheet, an income statement, and a cash flow analysis.
Writing a Business Plan for Success in Business and for Funding
Writing a business plan to help you direct and manage your company is a key part of starting you new company that will help lead you and your company to success. Creating a "living and breathing" business plan makes that success even easier to reach.
Microsoft Great Plains in Agriculture - implementation highlights
In this small article we'll concentrate on farmers associations and non-profit state-sponsored organizations, dealing with subsidized state and federal programs distribution and management - loans to farmers and rural communities. As we realized this is relatively narrow market niche and it is almost ignored by software developers.
Succession Planning for Business - 10 Key Points You Must Know
By cranking up others development to meet your business needs, big or small, not just for right now, but for the future, you will find payoffs, big-time. Here are a few ideas to get you started.
Turning On The Lights
Fun From The StartFor those with the will to start a new business the rewards, both financial and emotional, can be excellent, but the risks can also be significant to both sanity and mortgage. Of course, the chance of success increases if a company has a good, well thought through strategy before they strike out.
Succession Planning: Problems Getting Started
A survey released by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants in the spring of 2005 illustrates a widespread problem on the lack of succession planning [deciding who will take over running the firm when the current managers die or retire]. The survey found that 60% of responding certified public accountant (CPA) firms have owners who are in the 55-to-62-year-old age bracket, and more than half (56%) have at least one partner who will retire in the next five years.
Business Ideas: 3 Smart Ways To Generate Profitable Business Ideas Anytime
Creativity is one of the greatest tools for success in business.All businesses are created first by ideas.
Innovate Today for Great Leaps Forward Tomorrow
How often does your company make a quantum leap forward? My guess is that, on a scale from "frequently (10) - to - never (1)" the answer is much closer to "never" because few companies have a process to innovate or think creatively. Very few attempt to formally think through their business model, their relationships with staff, clients, and vendors, and their product / service offerings.
Could You Be Setting Your Business Plan Up For Failure?
David E. Gumpert, author of Burn Your Business Plan, often tells the story about how he and his partner failed to raise money after sending their business plan around to venture capitalists and meeting with several others to make presentations.
Business Plan: Planning the Operations
Writing a business plan is no easy task, sure you can whip something together in a day or so, but without proper planning you are setting yourself up to fail. Many first time entrepreneurs have a bit of trouble writing a business plan, which will be acceptable to bankers and investors.
How To Leverage Your Current Ideas And Products Into Multiple Revenue Streams
Diversify - to make diverse, give variety, to balance, to divide securities in different industries, to produce variety, to engage in varied operations.Diversification is a wealth building strategy; it is also an excellent method for becoming more profitable.
Strategic Planning Consulting
Strategic planning and consulting is the strategy roadmap to manage business very effectively. To improve the performance in each business level, business strategic planning & consulting is essential.
Be Like Bill - Think!
Twice a year, Bill Gates goes to a remote island hide-a-way for a week at a time. No, he's not going for a fishing vacation; instead of rods, reels, and lures he takes market analyses, position reports, engineering reports, and opportunity papers.
Six Key Areas For Evaluating A Strategic Alliance
Strategic alliances are increasing at a rapid rate. It is good for business, good for the consumer.
Why You Need a Business Planning System NOT a Business Plan
When someone mentions business planning we have been conditioned to think about writing a business plan. There are hundreds of books and articles, tons of software, an army of consultants, and a multitude government programs to help you write a business plan.
|home | site map|