By now, I’m sure you’re innundated with blog posts and articles about how you can use the current economic situation as a means to beat the other side into submission (I’ve seen articles that say this for both side’s, actually). You’ve even seen me blog on the subject of using time (which is what this really is) in a very strategic manner. At the end of the day, however, we (as contract negotiators, procurement professionals, lawyers, etc) need to find a way to blend strategy and tactics into a coherent plan. We need to find a way, to slightly borrow another phrase, to act tactically and think strategically.
Let’s go to the definitions.
Strategy. A careful plan or method.
Tactical. Made or carried out with only a limited or immediate end in view.
To me, then, the combination of the two is “strategical” – but Webster’s already has that defined as being strategic. Stratactical? Just doesn’t have the same ring, but it’ll have to do. 😉 My new word for the year.
Ok, so why the word-play? Well, sometimes just having a word for it makes it easier to do. It helps you focus on the how and not the what. So I was trying to coin a new word to help me remember that I can beat the other side up today – but that sooner or later, the tide is going to turn again… and I might find myself on the receiving end. So, being stratactical means that I have to use the current situation to my advantage, with limits. I will take the opportunity to renegotiate contracts that are more tied to the ebb and flow of economic reality. I will think twice about establishing short-term contracts that don’t provide long-term value. I will reconsider the notion of partnership and what it means to be dependent upon others for my long-term survival.
I might still make less-than-perfect choices – but I will do so with my eyes focused properly and not simply blinded by the glare of the current situation.