Team UK had our first team day of the year yesterday. It was a very special time. Most of the day we were eight plus the puppy; a small group of highly diverse personalities with an eclectic array of gifts and strengths – really quite special. We did some work on our purpose, objectives and strategy, when it’s a bit more refined I might share it with you. For some of us this sort of big picture work is natural and exciting whilst for others it is a little bewildering and hard work; but even so we got to some really good outcomes.
I have been mulling over how best to help others differentiate between strategy, tactics and goals…
If your goal is to get to Edinburgh, there are many strategies to choose from – you could go by plane, train, car, foot or even teleportation! Which you choose will depend on who you are, the things that matter to you, who else is or should be involved, what resources you have, what other outcomes you are after. A business person on a tight schedule might choose to fly, however if he has a son he hasn’t spent time with recently, he might choose to head up by train or car. He will have a range of tactics to choose from in implementing his strategy, who makes the booking and how? What rout does he take? Does he go business class or economy? Which service providers does he use?
In our line of work where we partner with others to reach their communities and young people, we have a strategy that has been developed in our movement over the last 50 years. Its a process of mission with 8 components. Our particular approach to authority, leadership and membership gives us a values and practice framework that guides us in the implementation of the strategy, so the culture should be pretty similar from place to place. In each community however, the particular tactics and programs we use to role out the strategy can vary widely from place to place.
Some years ago a well meaning church leader asked me if I had any plans to settle down and marry. I was a little surprised at his question and with what I am certain was a quizzical expression I replied ‘well I am open to the possibility but, no, I haven’t worked out a strategy and 5 year plan as such!’. My friends and I had a good laugh afterwards!