Planning: Tactical, Not Just Strategic

Planning: Tactical, Not Just Strategic

I used to be a registered investment advisor representative. That meant, among other things, that I could charge people money for my investment advice. With the volatility of the market I never felt overly comfortable giving such advice. Nonetheless, that registration has long since expired so if you want advice from me now it has to be free of charge.

A particular approach to investing that rang true to me was Tactical, Not Just Strategic planning. Let me explain. Think about this in military special operations terms. When given a mission, a special ops team develops an initial strategy in order to accomplish their mission, but they know that the mission is what matters, not the strategy. Almost always, when they are ‘on the ground,’ the environment changes rapidly and drastically. So they give themselves the freedom to change their plan in order to accomplish the mission. This is tactical.

In traditional basic investing a person develops a strategy based on their objectives, tolerance to risk, etc. Then, come hell or high water, they stick with the strategy. In today’s volatile market this can be disastrous to an investment portfolio. This is like a special ops team encountering their enemy when and where they HADN’T intended and not changing plans. The better investment approach is to have an initial strategy and then, like a special ops unit, have the freedom to go tactical when the environment changes.

Even though I haven’t even hinted at it yet, those of you who are leaders have already detected my point. This same Tactical, Not Just Strategic approach is necessary in ministry! Wise leaders make plans but they don’t etch them in granite. The mission is etched in granite, but the way that mission is accomplished must be adaptable. As the environment in which the mission is engaged in changes so must the tactics.

Wise leaders make plans but they don’t etch them in granite. Click To Tweet

I like what author Larry Osborne wrote concerning this. He stated, “The only thing we can know for sure about the future is that it will be radically different than what we spent all that time planning for.”[1] That being true, healthy churches and healthy organizations must know how and when to abandon an initial strategy and go tactical. It is the mission that matters.

It is the mission that matters. Click To Tweet

[1] Osborne, Larry, Sticky Teams, 154.

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Brent Kimball
God rescued me through Christ from my sin and condemnation when I was 19 years old. Almost immediately I began to sense a call to pastoral ministry, which I entered into in 1994. My deep desire is to serve God by influencing people to follow Jesus and fulfill their role in and for the Kingdom of God. I relish the outdoors and am an avid big game hunter. I enjoy reading. My three favorite genres are Classic Christianity (think Chesterton, Lewis, and Tozer), Leadership (think Lencioni and Collins), and Non-fiction Adventure (think Lansing, Krakauer).