Saturday, May 15, 2010

Strategy Metaphor

This is from Bob Basow (campaigns class in Journalism). Copy and paste this somewhere for you to reference in the future.

GOAL: an ongoing purpose (or "why") that is not likely to change over time. For example, my goal is "to live a long a healthy life." (Some corporations have goals that are painfully simple -- FedEx's goal is "Get it there." For an example of a really obscure goal, take a look at KU's Mission Statement. It makes you wonder what we really do here -- besides pat ourselves on the back.)

OBJECTIVE: a specific and measureable result -- in other words, a statement of "what." For example, my objective might be "to lose 20 pounds by June 1." Because it's specific and measureable, I can keep track of how I'm doing -- a weight loss averaging one pound per week is easy to track. (It doesn't hurt that the objective is realistic, although "reasonableness" is not a requirement.)

a statement of "how" -- the means by which I will pursue the objective. For example, there are really only two strategies for losing weight: "exercise more" and "eat less."

TACTICS: the specific steps taken to implement a strategy. The key is that a tactic is neither good nor bad -- it is either "on strategy" or "off strategy." For example, when I go to the gym and pack a veggie lunch in a plastic bag, I am staying on strategy. But if I choose, after my workout, to go by the Dairy Queen for a Blizzard and then go home and take a nap, that is "off strategy." Granted, there's nothing wrong with Blizzards and naps -- both are wonderful things, of course! But because they are off-strategy, they aren't helping me reach my objective.