“We need a strategy” is a common plaint, and usually wrong. What’s actually happening is that the tactics are failing. People often respond to my advice with, “I’m already doing that!” I reply, “Yes, but you’re not doing it well enough, are you?”
Strategy is top-down. Planning is bottom-up. Planning kills strategy through strangulation. “Strategic planning” is an oxymoron used by those who understand neither.
It’s fine to decide what you should be doing (strategic) but it’s vital to be able to execute well (tactics).
Strategy doesn’t fail in formulation, in those splendid retreats, with three-ring binders and electronic files filled with good intentions and “vision.” It fails in implementation, in the trenches, when people don’t have the skills or the attitudes to perform and there are failed accountabilities to ensure that the glorious “what” is realistically translated into the daily “how.”