Albu On Strategy

Short-Term Thinking = Missed Opportunities

Now that Labor Day is behind us, many business leaders have turned their attention to 2019 planning.  This is a perfect time because it gives the organization sufficient time to reflect on year to date performance, forecast the last quarter, and begin to gather data to plan resources for the new year.  That’s all very good, however, is your planning taking into consideration your long-term vision?  Is your long-term view of the business informing your short-term decisions? 

At Albu Consulting, we view strategy management holistically.  In our experience, without clarity about the organization’s long-term (strategic) aspirations, short-term (annual plan) activity will lack purpose.  To quote Morris Chang, CEO of TSMC, “Without strategy, execution is aimless.”

Yogi Berra said, “when you come to a fork in the road, take it.”  How can you know what to do if you don’t know where you are going?  Choosing your destination is a process. (Read October 2017 “Why Bother with Strategy?”) Defining the future state provides a clear path to the future so that every short-term “fork in the road” you come to will not be disruptive.  Your long-term strategy will provide the clarity necessary to inform your annual plan. 

Communicating the organization’s long-term aspirations also benefits your employees.   If you want an engaged, creative and energized workforce, the long-term strategy will keep everyone aligned to the strategy. Read February 2015 “What is a Strategy Focused Organization?” Think of it this way—if an employee is assigned a project and understands how that project is aligned to the company’s long-term objectives, the level of interest and understanding increases exponentially. If you want annual strategic projects to be meaningful to your employees, be sure to explain how their work will impact the company’s long-term success.  

Leaders can get stuck on managing the short term due to pressure from the market or that it’s simply easier. (Read July 2018 “Go Long—No it’s Not About Football”) Getting balance between the long- and short-term planning cycles requires good communication, having the right metrics in place for both long- and short-term objectives, and having the right incentives to keep leadership attention on both.

If you haven’t yet started your planning cycle for 2019, it’s a good time to begin.  And, if you haven’t yet developed a long-term strategy, it’s time you do.  S&P Global found that companies with a long-term mindset consistently outperformed competitors that were more focused just on short-term results.  Let us know what you think, and please share our blog with others that you feel could benefit.

Posted in Newsletter, Strategy Development, Strategy Management.