Thinking Long-Term in a Short-Term Economy


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First, make sure that you have a dynamic, constantly refreshed strategic “vision” for what your organization (or unit) will look like and achieve 3-5 years from now. I’m not talking about a strategic plan, but rather a compelling picture of market/product, financial, operational, and organizational shifts over the next few years. Try to develop this with your direct reports (and other stakeholders) and put the key points on one page. This then serves as a true north to help guide key decisions.

Second, make sure that your various projects and initiatives have a direct line of sight to your strategic vision. Challenge every potential investment of time and effort by asking whether it will help you get closer to your vision, or whether it will be a building block to help you get there. Doing this will force you to continually re-balance your portfolio of projects, weeding out those that probably won’t move you in the right direction.

Finally, be prepared to take some flack. There may be weeks, months, or quarters where the results are not on the rise, or don’t match your (or analyst) expectations. Long-term value, however, is not created in straight lines. As long as you’re moving iteratively towards the strategic vision on a reasonable timeline, you’re probably doing the right things. And sure, you can always do more. But just make sure that you’re doing things for the right reasons.Here’s what I think ….

Read the full article :: Thinking Long-Term in a Short-Term Economy - Ron Ashkenas - Harvard Business Review

June 13, 2013