In business, as in life, there are many ways of thinking. Many ways of implementing solutions, making decisions.
Different situations require different approaches. In business two of the main decision making processes are tactile, and strategic. Neither is better than the other, they are just different, each applicable to facilitating a different category of business operation.
Today we will define these terms, and identify when and where they can be best applied. That in mind, read on for a guide to the tactile vs. strategic decision making.
So, what does tactile decision-making mean?
Tactile decision making refers to actions that will most likely be taken by a professional that is in a middle management position.
These choices are focused mostly on the day to day, moment to moment operations of a business. Generally, choices are made and applied during a relatively short time frame and have an immediate impact.
A tactile decision could refer to anything from making a hire (or a termination), to managing work flow, payroll, etc.
If your business was a movie, the tactile decision making process would be observed in the close up where things are more personal and easily observed.
Cool. So then, what does strategic decision making refer to?
Strategic decision making is kind of the opposite of tactile. Strategic planning is done on a higher level of management. These decisions don’t necessarily have an immediately observable effect, but instead work to secure a sound long term future for a business.
A strategic decision could potentially mean a significant departure from how things have previously been done. It isn’t always as structured as the tactile choice, but can instead be continually shaped by management in response to dynamic environmental factors.
The strategic decision maker is like the captain of a ship. They have a distinct plan for where they want to go, but they need to be able to respond to the waves, weather, etc. that show up on their path to getting there.
In other words, we are talking big picture stuff here. To touch back on the film metaphor, if tactile decisions are close ups, your strategic decision is a wide shot. Everything is in view, but the details aren’t quite as refined.
When it comes to the difference between tactile and strategic decision making, it isn’t a matter of one being good, one being better. Both are necessary, vital aspects to the health of a successful business.
Some managers are going to be excellent at day to day tactile decisions. Making sure that the business is doing well at the ground level.
Others might not be so good at managing a staff and handling day to day operations, but they will be very good at creating a long-term business plan for success. And some people may even be great at both.
One thing is beyond dispute: when a company is succeeding at a tactile level, and at a strategic level, chances are their outlook will be good. What are some of your favorite strategic businesses? Some of ours include: