Tactics vs Strategy

In the 5th century BC, Chinese military strategist Sun Tzu wrote in The Art of War:

“All men can see these tactics whereby I conquer, but what none can see is the strategy out of which victory is evolved.”

Unfortunately, many schools are still too focussed on wellbeing ‘tactics’ and actions and interventions and activities and curriculum without having a proper, long-term, coherent strategy in place. It’s certainly understandable. We see some cool mindfulness activities or hear a talk about a new student-led purpose initiative and we want to share it, straight away, with our own students or colleagues.

Strategy is less visible, and often less fun and more arduous. But without one, even the best tactic will be a firework that goes off with a bang and then fades.

Do the hard work first. Spend time and energy articulating a rigorous, comprehensive, informed, wellbeing strategy. Map it across five years. And even if it’s not really ‘seen’ much, it will be the foundation from which whole-school wellbeing can really evolve.

Published by

David Bott

Hi, I'm David Bott, Associate Director of the Institute of Positive Education in Australia.