You run well, but outside of the path. Does strategy dictates tactics or is it the other way around?
Some time ago I wrote about Ries and Trout. These two authors are really fascinating to me. I have read very much about them and I had the chance to meet Jack Trout in person in a conference he gave for Philip Morris Spain I attended four years ago.
They both wrote several best-selling books back in the eighties and early nineties. I though their stories were tremendously interesting. However, after some years have passed by, I take a look back and realize that their theories are still alive with the birth of the Internet. I am now referring to their book “Bottom Up Marketing” Tactics Dictate Strategy. The title tells you everything. How much can we anticipate from our intentions without being them previously compared to reality? How much can we predict bearing in mind things change everyday? All this in a world where uncertainty grows everyday, every thing is new and everything is still to be tested. There is no other solution than being close to market and use the try-and-fail technique (tactic) in order to review our plan (strategy).
“You run well, but outside of the path”. I heard these words from politician Manuel Fraga when talking to one of his political adversaries. After some researching, I found out the author of this sentence was Saint Augustine –Bene curris, sed extra viam. It is important to stop and think about where are we heading to and how to tackle every situation. But how can we handle all that in such a changing world?
It is impossible for us to forecast the right path, we may only come up with a general idea of towards we want to go. And it is a good idea to write it on a piece of paper so we do not miss our goal. Achieving this represents a great leap. We are talking about being precise when defining our strategy and set it in motion. Such idea must be periodically reviewed and modified if required. The Internet and Social Media allow us to spread our idea and contrast it in an easier and cheaper way in order to find trip companions (evangelizers) supporting us or, on the contrary, detractors suggesting to change our path or even change our ideas. There is a wonderful book by Seth Godin telling us abandoning an unsuccessful idea is not a failure. We only fail when we focus all our efforts on an idea that does not work (The Dip).
There is also an Arab proverb saying “If a man tells you look like a camel, do not pay attention to his words; if two men tell you so, then see yourself at a mirror”.
Internet and Social Media make possible that not only two people but also many more help you to push or destroy your ideas.
I have heard many times that ideas are not very valuable –what is really important is the ability to implement them. And I believe this is true day after day. Only those ideas implemented are valuable, and they will change so much that they will probably have nothing to do with the original concept.
Do you have an idea? Implement it, tell it, improve it and fight for it. Don’t feel like doing so? Then just forget about it.
This post in Spanish: Corres bien, pero fuera del camino. ¿La estrategia dicta la táctica o es al revés?