The Balcony & Dance Floor of Strategy


In business, there are two primary levels of strategy: the strategic level and the tactical level. The strategic level involves developing and setting long-term goals and objectives, whereas the tactical level involves the execution of those plans and objectives to achieve them. These two levels are interconnected, with the strategic level informing the tactical level and the tactical level providing feedback to the strategic level.

The strategic level is often compared to a balcony, providing a higher-level view of the overall situation. Leaders at the strategic level can see the big picture, identify opportunities and challenges, and make informed decisions based on those insights. On the other hand, the tactical level is often compared to a dance floor, where employees are executing the plans and strategies set forth by the strategic level. The dance floor is where the real action occurs, where employees interact with customers, produce goods and services, and make things happen.

The key to business success is integrating these two levels seamlessly, allowing the strategic vision to inform the tactical execution. However, achieving this integration can be challenging, particularly when executing an open strategy.

Open strategy refers to the process of involving employees, customers, suppliers, and other stakeholders in the strategic decision-making process. It's a collaborative approach that encourages sharing ideas, feedback, and insights to develop a more comprehensive and effective strategy.

Implementing an open strategy on the dance floor can be an effective way to execute a business strategy. Here are a few ways businesses can use open strategy to improve their tactical-level execution:

  1. Engage Employees: Employees are the backbone of any business and have a unique perspective on what works and what doesn't. Encouraging employees to share their ideas and insights about the business's operations and how to improve them is critical. Giving them opportunities to voice their opinions, make suggestions and take ownership of their work can significantly improve morale, productivity, and motivation.

  2. Customer Feedback: Your customers are the best source of feedback. They can provide valuable insights into what they like and dislike about your products or services. Use this feedback to improve your products or services and make them more customer-friendly. Gathering customer feedback and making necessary adjustments can enhance customer satisfaction and loyalty, increasing sales and revenue.

  3. Collaboration: Collaboration is essential to open strategy. Encouraging collaboration between different departments and teams can foster a culture of innovation, creativity, and continuous improvement. Employees who work together can share ideas, learn from one another, and create better customer solutions.

  4. Data-Driven Decision-Making: Use data to inform your decision-making process. Collect data on your operations, customer behaviour, and market trends. Analyze this data to identify patterns and trends and make informed decisions. By relying on data rather than intuition or guesswork, you can make better decisions based on facts and insights.

  5. Continuous Improvement: Open strategy is an ongoing process that requires continuous improvement. Regularly evaluate your strategies and tactics to identify areas for improvement. Encouraging employee and customer feedback can help identify improvement opportunities that may have otherwise gone unnoticed.

In conclusion, an open strategy is a practical approach to developing and executing strategies on the dance floor. Businesses can create a more comprehensive and effective strategy by involving employees, customers, suppliers, and other stakeholders. It fosters a culture of innovation, creativity, and continuous improvement, leading to improved business performance and growth. Implementing an open strategy on the dance floor can be challenging, but the rewards can be significant, including increased employee engagement, improved customer satisfaction, and enhanced business results.

By Andrew Constable MBA

Keywords: Business Strategy, Innovation, Leadership

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