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Monthly Archives: February 2012

How Boards Shape Strategy

Recently I was considering how to proceed on the development of a strategic transition project for an Association re. how engaged should the board be in the development of such.  I came upon a statement in Ram Charan’s book Boards That Deliver that was helpful. He says: “Boards need to understand strategy, but it is not their job to create it.” They may challenge management’s ideas for strategy, but it’s not up to them to define alternatives. The board’s real value comes from helping management test that the strategy is grounded in reality. They do this by insisting that management answer fundamental questions. Key questions for a board to ask may be:

  • How will money be made, how will we pay for this initiative?
  • Does the company have the resources financial and human to execute the strategy, and are these allocated appropriately?
  • Have the external factors and assumptions been addressed?
  • What will be the competitor reaction?
  • How will our members reflect upon and support our actions?

Folly of Appeasement Policy

The appeaser is the one that feeds the crocodile – hoping it will eat him last.

In the book Winston Churchill CEO, Alan Axelrod discusses the policy of British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain of “active appeasement” regarding Hitler’s early aggression in Europe.

Chamberlain’s policy was to give Hitler all he demanded in exchange for his pledge to make no more territorial demands in Europe. His objective was to avoid and delay war even if it meant sacrificing allies and obligations of the Treaty of Versailles. Winston Churchill later comments in the House of Commons that England “has been offered a choice between war and shame. She has chosen shame and will get war”.

“The folly of appeasement is agreeing to a relative evil for the purpose of averting a great evil. Ethically considered, ends are never separable from means, and in no instance is this truer than when evil is proposed as a means of avoiding evil. Ethical conduct unfolds along a continuum, in which origin and result, means and ends, cannot be separated. A process that commences with a wrong must conclude with one.” (Axelrod, page 145).

Tactix Defined

The Company  Name TACTIX Leadership Inc.

Tac, to tack as in sailing is a manoeuvre in which the boat turns its bow through the wind. A sailboat like organizations often cannot go directly in to the force of the wind before it stalls, it must tack, sometime many times, to make forward momentum.

Tix: is short form for ticket (admission), the permission to enter a performance or journey.

Tactics: is the science and art of organizing – the plans and means adopted in carrying out a scheme or achieving some end. Tactics are the immediate decisions  we make in order to bring value to strategy that achieve ends.

TACTIX is the art of navigating the journey that brings value to strategy that achieves desired ends.




Winston Churchill regarding the failed WWI attack on the Dardanells

“Whereas good tactic efficiency can often rescue flawed strategy, even the most brilliant strategy will fail if it is not served by good tactics properly executed. . . . strategy – no matter how brilliant – cannot compensate for inadequate tactics.”

“Strategy without tactics is the slowest route to victory. Tactics without strategy is the noise before defeat.”

About the TACTIX Report

The objective of this Blog is to discuss the relationship between strategy and tactics.

I will explore the implications of observed execution practices for leadership, public policy, and performance accountability.

We will look at local and regional events and comment, using these to inspire discussion and perhaps to occasionally entertain. History is also a fruitful source of good and gone bad tactics that will be explored.

I hope that you will enjoy the discussion.