463358031Business has three primary dialects that impact business growth. Simply put, they are Vision, Strategy and Tactics. How these three very different Ways of thinking and communicating are aligned could mean the difference between success and failure.

Each of us has a primary Way in which we feel the most comfortable communicating. According to the Global Business and Economic Roundtable on Addiction and Mental Health, miscommunication is the #2 cause of stress in the American workplace.

What is your natural communication style? Use the following descriptions to determine how you and your team communicate with one another. It is critical to align how we think and communicate with those who share common business objectives; whether they are a client, supervisor or colleague. The 3 business languages are:

1) Vision

visionYour Way One thought process is the chief vision officer. You are the dreamer, the innovator, and the grand architect. We are the idea men and women who see a problem or a challenge and say, “Why not?” We are the entrepreneurs who are able to come along and do what others have adamantly said could not be done.

Your Way One passion contributes the vision, which describes a milestone that the firm will reach sometime in the future. Vision is a forward-oriented, long-term view, and its scope is as broad as the horizon.


2) Strategy

strategyYour Way Two thought process is crucial on the path from idea to action. A Way Two thinks in terms of how. She creates the strategy to align with the business objectives. [A strategy, narrowly defined, means “the art of the general” (from the Greek stratigos). The Way Two is the general officer creating the invasion plans to accomplish the supreme commander’s vision of breaching Fortress Europa. I like to call the Way Two “the VP of Vision.”

Your Way Two thought process, or if you have someone more qualified to develop the strategy; are ultimately also responsible for explaining the business to others in order to inform, motivate, and involve. They are responsible for benchmarking and performance monitoring. A strategy should not be confused with a vision. A strategy is the framework to enact and execute the vision. It is the how to the vision’s why. 

Compare the process of planning a vacation with what has to be done to go on vacation, such as packing, buying the tickets, and driving to the airport. Or think of a master chef, who will select the food concepts that support the owner’s vision for the restaurant, work out the budget, and set the standards. The cooks are the ones who put the steak on the grill.

3) Tactics

tacticsThe Way Three thought process coordinates the vision. It’s the what to the Way Twos’ how. In many senses, this role plays the most important part in any organization. If you take care of the little things, the big things will take care of themselves, meaning if you pay attention to detail in carrying out tasks, then the business objectives will take care of themselves.

Your Way Three has to perform these tasks as the action officers of the organization. This role is where plan meets reality. And as any military person will tell you, no plan completely survives contact with reality. Regardless of the objectives, landscape, or your own organization’s performance, something always fails to go exactly according to plan.

Do you perform your tasks, work cooperatively, and maintain flexibility to ensure a task is completed despite unforeseen challenges? Adapt and overcome, as the Marines say. How does this contribute to building a smart marketing strategy and a solid execution plan? Strategy in search of tactics is a waste of time, and tactics without strategy is a waste of money.

Return on Investment is a combination of time, money and energy. If you can tie a tactic to a positive business result, your energy, or Return On Energy® (a term coined by us here at Mojo Media Labs) is at peak levels. Your time is being invested wisely and will produce a return on investment. That makes people who manage the marketing budget happy. Therefore, strategy bridges the tactics to business results, which among many other factors is vison.

Speak Up! 

We use these three languages everyday, all day. Each person we come into contact with has their natural Way of communicating too. You know who they are, the ones you just ‘naturally’ connect with and are most productive with. Sure, the marketing manager might be comfortable with the tactics, but do they know how all the tweets, blogs, posts, keywords, etc. fit into the overall strategy? Or even if they are producing business results?

The Marketing Manager developed the strategy that all the tactics are aligned to, but do the strategists know how everything is aligned to impact the business results? Because the individual who sits in the Way One seat, thinking business results all day, is a little less interested in the blog results and little more interested in the business results that will accomplish their vision.

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Originally published Mar 20, 2014 10:00:00 AM, updated January 18 2023