Strategy or tactics?
The Operations are extremely concrete by nature: cost optimisation, daily hands-on problem solving, unpredictable events and pressure on tangible, short-term results...
The Operations cannot stop for "work in progress".
This fosters a natural and justified aptitude to tactical thinking in order to provide quick fixes to the issues coming from the field.
Nonetheless, in a scenario characterised by sudden and structural changes addressing symptoms is not enough to stay healthy in the long term (which is the ultimate goal for every business organisation): it is mandatory to address the root causes.
An organisation survives and flourishes as long as it is capable of generating value for its customers, at sustainable cost. The Operations are in charge of making the Customer Value Proposition happen. They are a cornerstone strategic asset that requires being continuously re-engineered in order to keep the pace of a fast-changing busineses eco-system.
Combining strategic vision and tactical capabilities is, nowadays more than ever, a must for Operations managers.