As Thomas Ricks argues in the book Fiasco, we often mix up strategy and tactics.
Big companies frequently make this mistake when it comes to environmental issues.
Many suggest that going ‘greener’ (or commonly, ‘green’) is a strategy, when actually it’s a tactic.
Sustainability is the strategy, ‘greener’ is part of the tactics used to try and begin getting there.
Alongside, of course, social, and governance-related matters, such as tax planning.
Ricks argues thus:
“…strategy. That is a grand-sounding word, and it is frequently misused by laymen as a synonym for tactics. In fact, strategy has a very different and quite simple meaning that flows from just one short set of questions.
Who are we, and what are we ultimately trying to do here? How will we do it, and what resources and means will we employ in doing it? The four answers give rise to one’s strategy.
Ideally, one’s tactics will then follow from them – that is, this is who we are, this is the outcome we wish to achieve, this is how we aim to do it, and this is what we will use to do it. But addressing the questions well can be surprisingly difficult, and if the answers are incorrect or incomplete, or the goals listed not reachable, then the consequences can be disastrous.”