Thursday, November 15, 2007/
There is new paradigm critical to survival in corporate life. Are you tactical or strategic?
Regular readers will be aware that I collect new business jargon as avidly as a birdwatcher pursuing a previously unobserved bird.
The latest addition to my metaphorical display case was the phrase ‘tactical decision,’ the discovery of which brought a thrill to an otherwise grey Tuesday.
It appears that nowadays decisions are either described as ‘strategic’ or ‘tactical.’
Decisions that still seem to make sense despite the passage of time are described as ‘strategic’; anything else is, by default, a ‘tactical’ decision.
If I have explained this clearly, my readers will understand that to describe a decision as ‘tactical’ is short hand for ‘however stupid the decision appears to be now, it looked OK at the time.’
As ever, your correspondent is struck by the contrast between his domestic and workplace environments. If he were to attempt the phrase in conversation with his long-suffering spouse, he would get very short shrift indeed. Consider:
LSS: BoLR, do you know what time it is? And why do you smell of cigars and exotic perfume?
BoLR: (a) No; (b) it was a tactical decision.
Quibblers will point out that although Q1 is quite easy, Q2 is indeed a difficult question even in the best circumstances. Be that as it may, it is obvious that it simply wouldn’t do.
This leads to the conclusion that his long-suffering spouse may not be well suited to a role as CEO of a major corporate. Her intolerance for scarcely believable excuses would almost inevitably lead to senior management actually trying to do things, rather than cling grimly to the status quo. And we only need to consider their capabilities to shudder at the possible outcome of that activity.