Strategic vs Tactical


Picture of by Dr David Phelps

by Dr David Phelps


ight now, there’s a lot of thinking going on about what's next, after the first several weeks of the coronavirus pandemic.

 We've quickly had to protect what was important to us because, all of a sudden, it's being taken away.

From our businesses being shut down to the country being shut down in a lot of respects, we have to protect our family first. We've also got to protect our employees and our patients. Then, we have to protect the financial cashflow revenues and handle the overhead expenses that continue on until we can go back to work. 

We’ve seen the stimulus package, and we’ve done those steps as dentists in crisis leadership to protect what we have. We are heavy on the protect side right now, but we are also pivoting to what’s next. 

What is next? As dentists get ready to come out of the closures mandated by the government, what will that look like?

Nobody has a magic crystal ball, but I will tell you this: It's not going to be business as usual. It's not going to be the same old thing. It's not going to be a slow ramp up to get started and then be back to normal in three months, six months, or even a year. Business as usual is over

That is not a bad thing. It just means that there is a lot of disruption right now that will continue in certain industries. Businesses that iterate or pivot better than others will not only survive, but a good percentage will actually thrive

Many other businesses will grind it out and maybe get back to a semi-even ground. It may take up to five years to just get back to “even,” and it will be a lot of struggle, pain, and desperation.

Others will not come back anywhere close to the same form they were in just six weeks ago. Many businesses will not make it back. Or, if they do come back, they'll be gone shortly thereafter because the stimulus package will go away. If they didn't figure out how to pivot and ramp back up to a new strategy, then they're not going to be able to make it.

Right now, I see a lot of communications, threads, posts and blogs about tactical moves. Some tactical moves, especially on the protect side, are very important. However, the pivot side and looking to the near future, 60 or 90 days from now, has to be strategic. Strategic moves are missing in the conversations right now.

The tactical moves are the small moves you make on a short-term basis. That decision making process will not fit the constructs and the framework that we will have coming out in the future. You have to be strategic, without knowing exactly what the future looks like.

I know there are some big picture things that a lot of people are missing right now, and my job is to continue to lead – through leadership, example, experiences, history, and the lessons I have learned from others and in mastermind groups.

Tactical moves will not be the same for everyone, which is why the tactical conversations do not have much relevance right now. The tactical moves cause us to spin our wheels and stay busy – only thinking we are productive. Stay with me, and I will show you how you need to be thinking strategically for the “next” after these 30, 60, and 90 days. 

For those who take strategic action - there’s light at the end of the tunnel, and it’s going to be alright.
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