The difference between strategy and tactics (and why you need both)


An interesting recipe.

Start with MyDentist closing their practices down in North Yorkshire.

Add a sudden increase in goodwill values offered by competing corporates to complete their private dental land grab.

Stir in orthodontists around the country deciding not to tender for the latest round of UOAs, preferring to go it alone in the private sector.

Sprinkle a frisson of disillusioned post-Foundation dentists who are leaving the profession.


Yet – when my clients email me every week with their progress reports, they don’t talk about any of those macro-economic factors.

They tell me that:

  • they don’t have enough time to get things done;
  • they have too much to do;
  • they are frustrated by the performance and behaviour of the people around them;
  • they want to grow their business.

The strategist figures out what direction to go in given the national landscape and local conditions.

The tactician constantly works on systems and people to get stuff done efficiently and effectively.

The ostrich buries its head.


Published by

Chris Barrow

Chris Barrow has been active as a consultant, trainer and coach to the UK dental profession for over 20 years. As a writer, his blog enjoys a strong following and he is a regular contributor to the dental press. Naturally direct, assertive and determined, he has the ability to reach conclusions quickly, as well as the sharp reflexes and lightness of touch to innovate, change tack and push boundaries. In 2014 he appeared as a “castaway” in the first season of the popular reality TV show “The Island with Bear Grylls”. His main professional focus is as Coach Barrow, providing coaching and mentorship to independent dentistry.