How to set a long-term strategy -Breaking
NEW YORK, (Reuters) – Most of us are just trying to get through the day after the global health crisis that has ravaged the world over the last year.
However, as crucial as these short-term strategies are for survival, it is important to have a healthy dose long-term thinking.
Dorie Clark (author and speaker) has this advice. Her new book, The Long Game, seeks to change how we think. She sat down with Reuters to talk about why corporate America – and individuals – should always be thinking about what’s coming five or 10 years down the road.
Q: What made you believe this book was necessary?
Q: Everyone who looks at the business environment knows how the pressures of quarterly earnings drive companies to make poor decisions. Executives are often aware of the share price and have been incentivised to do so.
Although short-term thinking may be natural, it is often not the right decision for the long-term.
It is the same in our personal lives. The human tendency to want instant gratification is a natural part of our nature. We must learn to recognize this and consciously avoid it.
Q: What did the COVID crisis do to your premises?
A: Short-term thinking was the only thing we had to do when COVID hit. And it certainly has a place – we needed to be agile, and respond and pivot as needed.
It’s true, however that short-term thinking is not always possible. It’s time to stake our claim and make an effort for long-term thinking.
Q: Could you please give me an example of long-term thinking that can result in breakthroughs?
A: Jeff Bezos said that Amazon’s (NASDAQ) success came down to their willingness to take on seven years of risk, whereas most other businesses only have a three year horizon.
They could also pursue ambitious, large-scale projects, even though they might not make a profit for many years.
These projects may seem like losers at first. You can build lasting things if you persevere in those projects.
Q: A majority of people believe they don’t have enough time for strategic planning. You would like to tell them:
Q: This makes perfect sense. One of the most important tenets is to put in small and sustainable efforts that will compound just like stock market returns.
The old saying goes that you underestimate the amount of work that can be done in a given time period. If we’re talking about long-term planning for 10 or more years, this is exponentially true.
Q: What can we do to create the space that allows us to think about 10-20 years in the future?
Q: It doesn’t matter how much you try, it won’t happen if your mind and brain don’t allow you to engage fully. This doesn’t necessarily mean that you have to set aside huge amounts of time. It is about creating enough space for your brain and body so that it does not run amok.
Google (NASDAQ) has a well-known strategy called “20% time”, where employees are encouraged to use 20% of their day on experimental projects outside the normal scope of work. That strategy should be adopted by all employees, I believe.
You can make it a priority and still find time to do it. It will add up. It doesn’t have to end in your face. You can make it great if you give enough attention and work hard.
Q: What would you recommend to people who don’t know where they should start?
Q: You may have no idea where you are going if you don’t use strategic thinking.
My advice is to let go of the high standards and to have a good relationship with myself. It doesn’t take a genius to answer the big questions of life.
As an alternative, I would suggest “What am I most interested in?” This is a much easier question to answer.
Take a look at the sky, find your interest, then go further into it. This is how you discover more about yourself, and the data you need to determine where you want it to take you.