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Making the shift from being tactical to strategic

  • Broadcast in Current Events
Jon Hansen

Jon Hansen


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What is the difference between being strategic as opposed to tactical?

Quite often, people confuse strategy and tactics and think the two terms are interchangeable in strategic planning, but they’re not. According to strategy guru Michael Porter, “Competitive strategy is about being different. It means deliberately choosing a different set of activities to deliver a unique mix of value.”

Strategy is the “what” part of the equation and helps you answer the question, “What are we trying to accomplish?” Yet your business design may not be sustainable; you may have trade-offs for how you position your business with customers and competitors.

Every business has limited resources and deals with a competitive landscape. The more it does of one thing, the less it can do of another. This concept leads to tactics, or the “how” part of the equation. Your tactics help you answer the question, “How are we going to accomplish our goal?”

Ultimately, a good way to think about the difference between the two is that strategy acts as a guide to a set of actions that various departments or teams will undertake.

Back in May of last year this was the introduction to my interview with Denali’s Chris Eyerman in which we discussed how an organization should make the transition from being tactical to being strategic in procurement, and why it is important.

Today we welcome to the show Susanne Wrage to tell us about the new Denali Academy and how this program will enable procurement professionals to shift skill-sets from tactical to strategic.