Organizations, particularly businesses, are built on a web of strategies: product and service strategies, financing strategies, marketing strategies, sales strategies, organic growth versus acquisition strategies, and, most important to the topic here, talent strategies. Strategies lay out the big picture and present the overall objectives. They're the forest, not the trees. Tactics step in to make the big picture clear and focus on the trees that might get in the way.

For a new enterprise, the strategies are captured in a well-crafted business plan. For an established business, they're refreshed with each new planning cycle. Nonbusiness, government, and other public entities are not as economically ...

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