planningStrategy is developing a plan or technique for achieving some end. In business common strategies usually are market share, stock valuation, dividend yield or profit levels. They are usually long term upwards of fifty years, although more commonly ten to fifteen years into the future. They define the purpose of the organization, answering the what and where of its existence. The strategists provide the resources and supporting policies to the business planners - implementers. Depending on where the concern sits on the Management Continuum will determine the stakeholders responsible for formulating strategy. Those responsible for strategy review it once every three years. Most importantly, they are responsible to ensure that the business plans approved are consistent with the strategy.

Business plans are tactics; which are the science and art of managing resources in the face of competition or opposition to achieve immediate or short-term objectives. The business plan answers the how and when for the organization. Business plans are ideally no longer than three years in duration, commonly are in one year increments. They are the building blocks moving the enterprise towards its strategic end. Depending on where the concern sits on the Management Continuum determines the stakeholders responsible for developing and implementing business plans. Those responsible for business plans are responsible to ensure that they fit the strategy and build towards it by orderly and efficient use of resources provided. Most importantly, they are responsible to ensure that the business plans are receptive to incremental shifts as opportunities arise.

For significant shifts in the marketplace, both strategists and tacticians must be capable of supporting and adopting new business plans to capture the benefits of the shift.


(S) Successful (F) Failure
Strategic Plan 
Business Plan 
Coca-ColaTM global market share (S) branding (S)
new brand (F)
classic (S)
own complements (S)
MicrosoftTM PC software supplier (S)
monopoly power (S)
operating systems (S)
application programs (S)
restrictive practices (S)
legal issues (S)
McDonaldsTM fast foods leader (S) standardized quality and service (S)
WalmartTM leading retailer (S) volume buying (S)
customer service (S)
high volume products (S)
Domtar Inc.TM building supplies leader (F) acquisitions (S)
financial management (F)
Enron leading energy supplier (F) supply contracts (S)
accounting (F)
Nortel NetworksTM leading hardware supplier to telecom industry (F) target marketing (S)
market research (F)

Military Examples

Country Strategic Plan Tactical Plan
Germany (Third Reich) von Schleiffen Plan (S)
Operation Sealion (F)
Operation Barbarrosa (F)
invasion of France (S)
Battle of Britain (F)
Stalingrad (F)
Moscow (F)
new weapons (F)
Peoples Republic of Vietnam unite with south (S) military battles (F)
guerrila warfare (F)
diplomacy (S)

Successful strategies are achieved through successful business/tactical plans which effectively allocate resources to critical target areas for the sector. Failed strategies tend to result from lack of resources or the mismanagement of key components.

Bush and Associates Consulting© 1992 - 2004