I used to have to cover this in a course I gave for salespeople. I am not a believer in trying to dress concepts up with loads of flannel when they need to be understood first. There is room for detail when you get into it but the simple concept should be that. Simple.
Simply put; It’s a bit like going to a film. The strategy is the overall aim to go and see a film. The tactics are the step by step actions to achieve that. They can be broken down into granular detail if needs be. It could be as simple as choose a film, get in the car and go to cinema, watch film. On the other hand it could be broken down into turn PC on, use Google to search for films, read reviews, pick film that suits your free time & tastes, buy tickets, collect keys, check there is enough petrol in the car etc etc etc…
This isn’t just a pure sales plan tool but a great thing to hold in your head when planning a campaign for a variety of things. The strategy is without doubt the hardest thing to agree on. If it’s about a business relationship then you need to be in alignment and agreement with your customer first. A strategy isn’t something you can just “do” to the other party. Once they trust that you understand their business and their strategy then it’s much easier to earn credibility by showing how your strategy with them helps them achieve their strategy. After that the tactics will come easily. Some will be be joint and some will be owned by either party. Simple, isn’t it?
I fundamentally disagree with the remark in an article I read that says the following; “Strategy is the practice of figuring out the best way to get from here to there.” Noooooo, strategy is the decision that you want to be “there” and not “here”. Tactics are the things you need to do to get from “here” to “there”, achieving your strategic aim.
Sounds simpler by the second? So, it’s OK to get all Sun Tzu about it the whole thing, but ensure that you grasp the basic distinctions first.
This still makes me laugh and my daughter is not even a teenager yet. I was doing some electronic housekeeping on the PC, stumbled over this that was sent to me when our daughter was born. Although I like to believe I am progressive and liberal this strikes a chord deep inside.
- If you pull into my driveway and beep you’d better be delivering a package, because you’re sure not picking anything up.
- If you can’t keep your eyes or hands off of my daughter’s body, I will remove them.
- I am aware that it is considered fashionable for boys of your age to wear their trousers so loosely that they appear to be falling off their hips. Please don’t take this as an insult, but you and all of your friends are complete idiots. Still, I want to be fair and open minded about this issue, so I propose this compromise: You may come to the door with your underwear showing and your trousers ten sizes too big, and I will not object.
Clown trousers (Photo credit: Eleventh Earl of Mar)
However, in order to ensure that your clothes do not, in fact, come off during the course of your date with my daughter, I will take my electric nail gun and fasten your trousers securely in place to your waist.
- I’m sure you’ve been told that in today’s world, sex without utilising a `barrier method` of some kind can kill you. Let me elaborate, when it comes to sex, I am the barrier, and I will kill you.
- It is usually understood that in order for us to get to know each other, we should talk about sports, politics, and other issues of the day. Please do not do this. The only information I require from you is an indication of when you expect to have my daughter safely back at my house, and the only word I need from you on this subject is `early.`
- I have no doubt you are a popular fellow, with many opportunities to date other girls. This is fine with me as long as it is okay with my daughter. Otherwise, once you have gone out with my little girl, you will continue to date no one but her until she is finished with you. If you make her cry, I will make you cry.
- As you stand in my front hallway, waiting for my daughter to appear, and more than an hour goes by, do not sigh and fidget. If you want to be on time for the movie, you should not be dating. My daughter is putting on her makeup, a process that can take longer than painting the Forth Bridge. Instead of just standing there, why don’t you do something useful, like changing the oil in my car?
- The following places are NOT appropriate for a date with my daughter: Places where there are beds, sofas, or anything softer than a wooden stool. Places where the ambient temperature is warm enough to induce my daughter to wear shorts, tank tops, midriff T-shirts, or anything other than overalls, a sweater, and a goose down parka-zipped up to her throat. Ice Hockey games are okay. Old folks homes are better.
- Do not lie to me. I may appear to be a pot-bellied, balding, middle-aged, dim-witted has-been. But on issues relating to my daughter, I am the all-knowing, merciless god of your universe. If I ask you where you are going and with whom, you have one chance to tell me the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth. I have a shotgun, a shovel, and five acres behind the house. Do not trifle with me.
- Be afraid. Be very afraid. It takes very little for me to mistake the sound of your car in the driveway for a chopper coming in over Now Zad. When my NBC injections start acting up the voices in my head frequently tell me to clean the guns as I wait for you to bring my daughter home. As soon as you pull into the driveway you should exit your car with both hands in plain sight. Speak the perimeter password, announce in a clear voice that you have brought my daughter home safely and early then return to your car – there is no need for you to come inside
As mentioned previously – one of the reasons for this blog is to make an up to date digital footprint out there in the ether. My CV is located here.
The reason for this post is that I have been turning over and over in my head the remarks a supposedly good recruiter made to me. He said, “the problem you face Dominic is that you have a strong background but no skills.” Go figure.
I am in a be nice to all mode – hence not naming him – but I was speechless. How exactly is this possible, to have a background but no skills? Did they just up and go one night while I slept?
I guess this was his way of saying “no thanks mate, you’re not for me” etc etc. I guess the time I have taken off to look after my daughter has rotted my brain and in true homeopathic style I just have an imprint left by my background, that’s all.
I now have a previously unimagined level of empathy with the skilled and competent mothers who come back to work after a child-rearing break and are gently side-lined into roles far below their capability. I have had it suggested to me on more than one occasion that I need to take several steps back. Obviously my brain is mush and this is a safe thing to do.
People are still people. Customers are still customers. They have the same basic needs, hopes, aspirations and desires that they had 3,4,5 or even 50 years ago. There seems to be a view amongst some recruiters – often the males I am ashamed to say – that looking after a child is some easy opt out and really means I am work-shy and yes; my skills have vanished.
Oddly, I retain the skills that I acquired before selling my firm. I think I have acquired more as I didn’t spend my spare time watching Jeremy Kyle/Jerry Springer.