Manage in two dimensions
CEO’s and decision makers need to be acutely aware of balancing short term and long-term objectives, results and investments. The essence of Strategic planning is making resource allocation decisions today that will affect the future. Yet short term results are necessary, and this necessity needs trade off between short term and long-term results.
One of the multinational CEO remarks “the basic value, she says is that first, we have to regain what we lost in the past, and then build for the future”. Drucker says, it is a very short-sighted view and inconsistent for the future of the company. Consider the rule: 90D/90Y- 90 days will ensure the engine is rolling today (paying salaries on time to employees and the working capital run the company) and 90 years to build a legacy and pass it on to the 2nd and 3rd generation (not necessarily to your children and grandchildren).
Yesterday is history, today is mist and tomorrow a mystery. We often spend today’s resources to bail out our past. Yesterday’s decisions and actions become today’s problems, crisis, and stupidity. Yet it is the executives’ job to clear the mess and to see how he/she commits the resources to the future.
Drucker quotes a piece of sermon from the 17th century philosopher John Donne, “Never start with tomorrow to reach eternity, today is the day of salvation. For, we do not know we will be there tomorrow. So, as we live today, we also hold the perspective of eternity”.
So start always with the long range and then plan-back and say, “What do we DO today? ” and note that the word “DO” is the critical.
- Is your organization’s mission statement reflecting your short and long-term objectives?
- Does your organization focus most of its time and effort on problems relating to past decisions?
- How can you free up some of your time and resources to focus on opportunities that serve the future of your life, career and organization?