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How to Balance Strategy and Tactics to Get $#!T Done

How to Balance Strategy and Tactics to Get $#!T Done

How do you use the WHO-DO™ Method to develop your strategy and tactics?  Karla and Kevin discuss your “WHO to go to” during both Ideation and Implementation.

Listen to the Podcast…

More information about Tactics and Strategy and WHO-DO™

Red-Light & Green-Light Relationships: https://thepeoplecatalysts.com/me-we-us-all-5-of-8-red-light-green-light/

WHO-DO™ Assessment: https://thepeoplecatalysts.com/who-do-assessment-welcome/

The Strategy and Tactics Discussion…

Karla Nelson:  And welcome to the People Catalysts Podcast, our favorite prover Kevin Nothstine.

Kevin Nothstine:  Hello. Hello. How are you doing today?

Karla Nelson:  Very well. Pretty excited about what we’re going to chat about. And the reason why we brought Kevin onto the podcast today is because he is our chief prover. And so, on our leadership team, we not only teach this, but we practice it day in and day out. And what we’re going to be talking about today is strategy and tactics and how to get things done and how different they are. So, and you might even break them up a little bit. We’ll get into it in the podcast. Ideation, what are we going to do? Implementation, we have to get it all the way a repeatable process, right? So that big picture down to the little tiny granular checklist that needs to be implemented. And so, we have to have both, we have to have both strategy and tactics.

And there’s interesting pieces that using the process that are similar. However, the response is based off of your team, especially when it comes to early adopters and late adopters, right? That it’s a different game to play, right? And so, Kevin, I know you’re going to talk a little bit about how strategy and tactics then is juxtaposed with your time and your scope.

Strategy and Tactics Differences in Time and Scope

Kevin Nothstine:  Yes, exactly. But first let’s talk about what they have in common. When you’re looking at strategic thinking and tactical thinking, well those are both all about getting things done. Just like you’d said, Karla. So that’s the primary aspect of each one. But the differences on them, it can be broken up on looking at the timeframe that you’re looking at and the scope. For instance, if you’re just talking about strategy, the timeframe for your strategy is the timeframe. And the timeframe, that could be from months to years in the future. You’re looking at that long-term thought process of what’s going on. And the scope, you’re looking at the big picture, you’re at the 30,000-foot level. It’s kind of like looking at the forest, you’re looking at the entire forest from flying over the forest.

Karla Nelson:  Of course, give us a flying analogy.

Kevin Nothstine:  Very near and dear to my heart, of course.

And then when you get down to the tactics of doing something, the timeframe for the tactics, it’s much more short term. That’s from that months on down. It could be down to the minutes, even to the seconds on some points. If you’re talking flying analogies, it can be down to the seconds for us on the tactics of how to do something. So that’s the timeframe for the tactics of the items and the scope is also a lot different for the most part. And tactics, you’re looking at the details instead of flying over the forest and looking at that, you’re looking at how you’re trimming the trees and the details of what happened on each individual tree.

So that really does-

Karla Nelson:  I’m falling asleep already. Trimming the trees in the details. We always laugh on our team because, so I’m the mover and the prover, so we have what we call a yellow light relationship. We deal with each other because we know we’re critical to getting things done. And so, Kevin though, is the later adopter, the prover into the details, and he always prefaces that with, “Okay, we’ve got to get into the details.”

And for me as a mover, I start falling asleep. I can tell you’re like, Oh, flying analogy, fly over the trees. And I was thinking, I could visualize that as soon as you said trimming the trees, I was like, Oh good Lord. I want no part of it, even though it’s necessary. And that’s why we’re doing this podcast, because you have to have both sides of that, especially when you get into implementation. So, go ahead.

Kevin Nothstine:  Yes, most definitely. You do need to have both parts. And the movers, shakers and provers need to be involved in both the strategic and the tactical level on this. It really does in how you involve them and what’s going on and when you get them.

Early Adopters for Strategy; Late Adopters for Tactics

Karla Nelson:  Yeah, and I think you hit the nail on the head talking about in really early and late adopters because doing and thinking too is a part of this. But I think that’s a secondary layer, right? Almost an advanced layer of looking at this. If you just think the law of diffusion of innovations and look at the early adopters, the shakers and movers, now they are future-focused. So, they’re always thinking in the big picture, they’re naturally live in the big picture. And that’s why they lose the later adopters often, because the later adopters are in the details, right?

Kevin Nothstine:  Right.

Karla Nelson:  And so, it’s critical that you understand where somebody lies on the law of diffusion of innovations and what core nature of work that they have with both strategy, early adopters, tactics, late adopters. And then you have to connect these two together. And I said it earlier, that your approver is that person. So, in ideation, and that means you’re running the process, right? That is your movers and shakers, to figure out what to do. And the provers, but you’re running a process, right?

And the later adopters, that is your implementation. So, your mover is your point guard on ideation. Your prover is your point guard on implementation. I think that’s such a critical point, and it’s almost like, it reminds me, it’s Geoffrey Moore’s Crossing the Chasm, right? Is if you don’t connect the early adopters to the late adopters, that pendulum can’t shift far as adopting. Doesn’t matter what you’re trying to adopt. A new idea using technology, whatever it is. And we did an entire podcast on the red light, green light, yellow light that you can go back and listen to. But for the purpose of this, I want to explain that because I think it’s really critical to understand between why people get so frustrated working through both the strategy and the tactics.

So, in strategy, it’s big picture and those green light relationships, the movers and shakers, right? They’re like, “Woo-hoo, this is great. This is ideal. Oh, we could do this.” And these big picture visions, right?

Kevin Nothstine:  And then you have the same green light relationships that happens between your provers and your makers, when you’re talking about the details of actually making things happen. That’s a natural green light as the later adopters, they get along well as well and can make them-

Karla Nelson:  Yeah, because they’re sitting there going, this crap is never going to happen anyway. So, there’s too much wrong than it, right? And that’s why you have to bring the late adopters into ideation, and you have to bring the early adopters into implementation even though they naturally live on two different planets. And the reason why is because that glue needs to be stuck together. And that’s that yellow light relationship that we’re talking about between the mover and the prover. Because as you’re tactically working through something, strategically, you don’t want to forget about what your initial vision is or the objective at hand, the bigger picture. Because the bigger picture doesn’t change. Your tactics will always change.

I mean, think about tactically marketing and sales, how it’s changed over the last 10 years, it’s almost unrecognizable as far as how many pieces of electronic equipment you need, right? Depends on-

Kevin Nothstine:  Oh, it’s definitely done to change in the marketing, where you go from having your mailers or people going to door to door or putting a flyer or print ads, putting an advertisement in your newspaper. Or just the fact that people would name their businesses based on how early you would show up in the yellow pages.

Karla Nelson:  Because everybody had a page in the yellow pages. I haven’t seen the yellow page book in forever.

So, it’s really critical to understand there’s red light, green light, yellow light, and how they shift based off of ideation implementation. Because unless you get something to the point where you’re repeating it, late adopters, there’s your makers, right? But it has to start out with your movers and shakers. Again, understanding the why you irritate each other to begin with. And it’s just because you have different coordinators of work, you see the world differently. And so understanding that you can use the WHO-DO™ method too really well for ideation, or what we’re calling strategy here is the process, you brainstorm, everybody gets a amount of time to brainstorm as many ideas as you can, there are no ideas. And then the mover gets to pick the best idea or set of ideas and then the prover gets to poke all the holes in it.

Strategic Planning

This is a process that typically you’re going to have every person in, and actually, it’s best if when you’re running the process that you have both the shakers and the provers and/or makers because we have makers poke all the holes in it or just not come to the meeting. We just recently did a training a couple of days ago, and the team just couldn’t help themselves. And normally we’ll have the shakers push their chair back and stay in the room, and then provers push their chair back just basically say we’re not poking holes in it or we’re not coming up with ideas. And they just couldn’t do it. So, we just let them leave the room. Plus, they can check their phone or do whatever. And that is a scheduled meeting, right? So you have a focus objective and you are running the process to pick the best idea, set of ideas, poke all the holes in it and you run that process until the approver says, “Yeah, okay, I can live with that.”

So I did the strategy part. You should do the ideation, you should do implementation, Kevin, because that’s where he takes over. Now again, the mover is the point guard in that situation. The mover never leaves the room. They facilitate through the process to figure out what the team is going to do. This does two things. It makes sure you pick the best idea and as I say, shave all the hair off the dog. That’s kind of funding analogy, is that you get not only the best idea, you poked all the holes in, you’re overcoming the potential things that may create failure in the future, but you also just got a hundred percent buy in from your team. So instead of just dictating what’s going to happen, everybody gets a part of the process and figuring out in ideation, what are you going to do? So strategically, what’s the big picture? So, Kevin, if you want to jump in on implementation, since the prover is the point guard on implementation.

Tactical Implementation

Kevin Nothstine:  Now here’s the big difference on applying to WHO-DO™ between the strategic and the tactical. The strategic, as Karla just said, they’re having those scheduled meetings with that focus objective. But when it comes down to a tactical level of day to day getting the work done and doing something, as you go along as a prover, as a maker, you can hit a little bit of a roadblock while you’re trying to accomplish something. And it’s when you hit those roadblocks that you now realize, you know what? I was just hit with reality. Reality is something that we didn’t plan for and didn’t quite foresee, and how do we solve problems? With new ideas. Well, that’s one way. There’s a lot of ways. But one of the big ways is if you need a new idea to solve them, well, we go right back to the WHO-DO™.

And during that implementation, this doesn’t have to be a large scheduled meeting or anything. If you have it ingrained in your culture of how you do your business, then as a prover or maker, you realized, you know what? I’ve hit a roadblock. I need a new idea, not my strength. I’m going to engage somebody else to do this. Who am I going to engage? Well, this is reality and the natural inbox for the shakers is reality. So, my jobs, I’m going to now present this problem to the shakers and say, “Hey, I just hit this problem.” And I’m going to include the mover on this. I’m going to CC the mover on it, because I’m going to let the shaker know I’ve got this problem. Do you have any ideas on how we can solve it, and what are the ideas?

Now shakers are going to do what shakers do, and that is come up with a new idea.

Karla Nelson:  Yes. And the reason why you include the mover is because remember, it’s the mover that gets to pick the best idea or set of ideas. They go off a gut instinct. So, there might be, a shaker might come up with 15 different ideas and they love every single one of the 15 as much as the other. So…

Kevin Nothstine:  And this could be as simple as if you’re making a graphic for some type of presentation or something and you say, “What can I put here, what kind of a picture would need?” And you don’t have to have a full-blown meeting to go on this, but you can ask the shaker, “Hey, this is the idea that we’re trying to portray. What would be a good graphic for this?” And a shaker is going to tell you, Oh, you can do this, or you can do this, you can do that.

Karla Nelson:  Yeah, I can’t tell you how many times you’ve been working through something that we were implementing, and Kevin will be like, “Hey, how do you think we should solve this?” And I’m like, “I don’t know. That’s a Allen problem.” So, we get Allen on the phone. And then he easily comes up with a whole bunch of different ideas. And there’s probably sometimes where you could just get ideas from the shaker. It’s critical, because now whoever your leaders on the project are, and I won’t even work on a project unless there’s a leading person that understands the process, knows the process and will use the process.

So, it’s really imperative to understand that to get the team and keep them on the same page. That’s why you have to hand off the baton. And so, handing the baton off to the prover in implementation is critical. And then the prover understanding the process. Basically, Kevin, what you’re talking about. Go back to the process because what can also happen on teams here is the prover is implementing, well Kevin actually is a prover-shaker. Do you know how wonderful it would end up if he just decided to do whatever it is he decided to do and then he goes back to, right? The shakers and the movers and go Whoa, Whoa, Whoa.

Potential Problems

Because he came up with a new idea because his secondary core nature of work is a shaker. And so, I think you’re right on the money in regard to, yes, you go back to the shaker but make sure you take the leading mover on the project as well. Plus, sometimes shakers and provers, so say for instance, you’re in implementation, the prover goes back to the shaker. And then the shaker’s coming up with all these ideas. And prover, before he even finishes the idea, is telling them what’s wrong with it. So, there can be a little bit of a rub that goes on between the shakers and provers. Because again, that is a red-light relationship. So, it’s critical in implementation that not only the process, but bring your whole team with you, don’t make the decision without at least you’re leading mover, shaker and prover.

Kevin Nothstine:  It really is interesting, something she brought up there. The fact that I’m a prover-shaker. With being the secondary, and that’s a whole another podcast of talking about the secondary nature. But as we said, that’s a red-light relationship between the provers and shakers. So, I have my own internal red light going on that I say, “Okay, here’s a problem. Oh, here’s a solution to it. Oh, but here’s the problem with that solution.” And you can easily get into that iterative loop of problem, solution, oh, it’s messed up. Another solution. Oh, it’s messed up.

Karla Nelson:  Yeah, that happened. We had a prover-shaker in the training recently and she did it to herself. And it’s interesting because it’s a great learning point, right? When people do that, so she’s prover. She proved what was wrong with it, and then she comes up with an idea to overcome it in the same instance. And the challenge with that is, is that if you’re poking holes in it, you don’t want to solve your problem at the same time you’re poking holes. But I like how you’re talk about that internal struggle too, because it’s probably the biggest chuckle we get when we’re training, is when we explain prover-shakers, which, hey, that’s not going to work. We could do this. This is a great idea. That really sucks. Because it’s that monkey mind that happens. And sometimes the words don’t even get out of their mouth before they, and depending on what personality.

We did a couple podcasts on DISC and Meyers-Briggs associated with personality. This is not personality; this is your core nature of work. And I think that’s really critical to look at too, Kevin, based off your core nature of work, how you can have that internal struggle. Because I think shaker-provers and prover-shakers, that combination really that’s very, very common for them to internally just struggle. The red-light relationship with themselves.

Kevin Nothstine:  Yes, definitely. But it does even bring up, and that can lend itself to happen. Whether you’re talking about your long-term strategy or your short-term tactics and what’s going on. Which is what we’re kind of focused on here today, is talking about that strategy and yes we can use the WHO-DO™ to the strategy with those organized meetings. But when it comes down to the tactics, you can still use the WHO-DO™ ,as long as you really understand the process and just know who on your team has which skill and know when it is time to go to them for that skill.

Karla Nelson:  Yeah. I think that’s a really good point too, because we’re working with a really large real estate organization, and this is very common in real estate, insurance, financial advising. We see the same thing, where it’s like all these little businesses within a business, because they’re all commission only. They all kind of run their own company, kind of. They’re separate but together under maybe the same name, and then they think, oh, well I don’t really have a team, it’s just me. Or maybe they have an assistant. And it’s really critical at that point too still build your team. So regardless if it’s your colleagues, if it’s the office manager that has a certain core nature of work, if it’s your channel partner, people that refer and promote you, if it’s your even cross-promoting clients, right? For us, way back in the day when we were doing financing, we would do financing to businesses, right?

And so some of my clients who are some amazing colleagues, you can still utilize their core nature of work if you know the process. They don’t have to be an employee. And I think that really is shifting and people are starting to see it that way. It’s like you can build your team out, and it doesn’t have to be somebody who you are paying directly. Some of the most incredible shifts that we’ve made when working with companies is when they see their customer, especially when their customer is a prover, purchasing a phone system, and their customer becomes the best person to run the process with. Why? Because they can poke all the holes into a phone system prior to purchasing it, right? And so you can run this process with just opening your eyes and look around and utilize the assessment to figure out who’s on your team and what part of the work they do well.

Because a great shaker, they’ll come up with ideas for you. They’re not going to charge you, they’re loving it. They’re having a great time. And if they are on your team, great. Or if you are employed by the same company or they are an employee, great. But oftentimes, that’s not the case. And you can still fill in those gaps with a core nature of work and somebody that is, heck we’ve got them. They’re across the continents, you know what I mean?

Kevin Nothstine:  Across the continents. And I love one of those stories with Allen. Where one of his people that he loved to bounce his ideas off of was the barista at his local Starbucks that he would go there every day.

Karla Nelson:  Yeah, that’s right. That’s hilarious. See, exactly. But he goes to that Starbucks pretty much every day when he is home. I never catch him when he doesn’t have a Starbucks in his hand after probably mid-morning. I always tease him. He’s like famous. Well, it’s funny, he was at the Starbucks just around the corner from his house that he always goes to, and another colleague of ours, Dan, happened to be there and he’s like, Oh, I had an Allen siting. So, we’re all in different zip codes and I get a text message from a friend that said, “Hey Allen siting.” He took a picture with it and texted it to me, and I think I was in Vegas or something at the time. It was hilarious. So but, yeah, barista at Starbucks, right? And I think that Kevin, you touched on it.

I think I had jumped in and started communicating about something you said about the provers, but the inbox and outbox I think is critical to understand, and the natural inbox for shakers is reality, right? The natural outbox for shakers is ideas. The natural inbox for movers is ideas, the natural outbox for movers is the plan. The natural inbox for provers is the plan, and the natural outbox is reality. Poking all the holes in it. They’re different ways of approaching basically the output still being reality. So shaking and proving, they’re actually just the opposite sides of ideas, right?

Kevin Nothstine:  Yes. Right.

Karla Nelson:  You’re overcoming whatever’s happening in reality. They just look at it from a completely different standpoint.

Kevin Nothstine:  And we can embrace that, and it really does help. And it doesn’t matter if you’re looking at the strategic big picture things that are going on where you’ve got a two hour strategy session to come up with your corporate vision and mission statement. Or if you’re trying to come up with a graphic to go on one particular presentation for one slide that goes to somebody else and it’s very much a strategic versus tactical view. But by understanding the WHO-DO™ process and knowing who to go to for which aspect of the problem and following the process, you’re always going to come up with a better product.

Karla Nelson:  Yep. Yep. Okay, so in wrapping it up, let’s just talk about maybe a couple of points here that are critical, because obviously all of my listeners can go back to the other hundred plus podcasts. Maybe we’ll go find that red light, yellow light, green light one and make sure that that is actually put into the show notes, because I think that’s really, really critical to understand on top of, okay, if you’re in strategy, right? You have to ensure that the mover is that go between in facilitating ideation, which is what are you going to do? All right. Then you hand the baton on implementation to the prover, okay? But you still want to keep that mover as a buffer on implementation and to make sure that you’ve got still a hundred percent buy in from your team. What else do you want to add here, Kevin, before we sign off?

Kevin Nothstine:  Another part just to make sure is your provers and makers, while they don’t like to, especially your makers, they don’t want to go to the train. They don’t want to understand the process. They just want to get the things done. By them having a good understanding of the process, even down to the maker level, knowing, Hey, yeah, you can follow a checklist, but when you run into challenges instead of just following the checklist, then fall back on the WHO-DO™ Beth method and know, hey, I’ve got a challenge. I need a new idea. Who can I go to? You know what? Let’s not be afraid to go and work the process and either ask the mover or go to the shaker with the problem with including the mover and say, “Hey, let’s find a solution to this even down at the tactical level.”

Karla Nelson:  Yeah, great point. And it’s interesting there’s a training we just recently did, the one person who didn’t make the meeting even though it was scheduled a month out was the maker. And I was just like, “I’m just not surprised.” You know what I mean? But it is critical, it’s important, right?

Kevin Nothstine:  And you know what?

Karla Nelson:  That they understand the process. So they yep.

Kevin Nothstine:  That exact same instance of what you’re talking about shows we applied the WHO-DO™ to solve that problem. That the maker couldn’t attend. What did we do? We came up with the idea of how to have them attend virtually. So we said, “Hey, we’re going to do a Zoom meeting.” Or a Skype or some other method and guess what? Reality whipping him in the face, had a problem with one of the technology’s not working.

Karla Nelson:  But that was the weirdest thing. We’ve used Zoom for five years. I have never been able to not load it. And you could, but you were in a different zip code. None of us could, we try it on our phones and, which is so bizarre. Yeah, that was interesting.

Kevin Nothstine:  Right. And so, we ended up going through, Hey, what are other ways that we can connect and solve this problem? And we actually ended up using FaceTime on the phone to be able to connect and have the maker attend the meeting.

Karla Nelson:  Yeah. You can’t get away maker. You will attend our meeting. Yeah, but so it’s critical even though they don’t want to be there, just to understand the process. It’s not necessarily that they need to, in ideation, you don’t invite them in the meeting because they’re the person who’s not going to say anything anyway. And it’s difficult for them to hear these ideas. It causes them stress. So just let them go back to their desk and do the quote unquote real work that needs to be done because they just cleaned up this place two months ago and you’re going to come mess it up already. So, awesome. Well, thank you so much Kevin, for taking the time to take over the implementation part. Since you are chief implementation officer and prover, and we do have the assessment available, the beta test, because we’re validating the process right now. And so it’s absolutely free. You can find it on the website at thepeoplecatalysts, and that’s plural, because we need you all, but at different times, .com so thanks again, Kevin. Until next time.

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