Strategy Before Tactics

I had the recent pleasure of participating in an organizational planning session. A few dozen of the organization’s best and brightest packed into a room to contemplate the coming year and how we might advance the organizational goals.

Participants put forth lots of valuable ideas, tossing out thoughts so fast and furious the scribe could barely keep pace. It all boiled down to how to communicate the organization’s value more broadly and forcefully. Among the notions: Let’s reach out more through new media channels. Let’s retweet each other to expand the organization’s reach. Let’s work to establish more collaborations across sometimes disparate parts of the organization. These ideas were all well and good.

Chess, Game, Chessboard, Glass, Board, Planning

Do you notice a vital missing component? Yup, there was no hat tip toward a robust communications strategy. It sounds great at first blush to throw some tactics and techniques against a wall to see what sticks. The fact remains if you lack strategy you will lack success.

My fear is that all these bright, dedicated folks will now go about their merry way doing their own thing. The result will be lots of movement with little forward motion.

The lesson: Whenever you decide to strengthen your communications capabilities, start with the strategy. The tools will make themselves evident once you’ve set your compass in the right direction.



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