What is your company’s planning horizon? Five years? Two years? Six months? Or zero month? Do you often set apart long-term vision to meet your business shorter-term financial goals? Many companies are under enormous pressure to deliver bottom-line results every quarter. The pressures can rearrange your priorities and sometimes not for the better.
This just reminds me a story. A grasshopper chirped loudly during the heat of a summer’s day. An ant warned the grasshopper to start thinking about the cold times ahead as it would be winter before soon. The ant, by contrast, spent the rest of the summer gathering kernels of wheat and storing them for the colder months.
The winter arrived as expected and it was an especially bitter one. One night, the cold and starving grasshopper approached the ant for something to eat. I am sure you know the response already. This explains why it is important to maintain a long-term planning horizon. In Out of the Crisis, Deming W. Edwards outlined his fourteen principles to transform management in the Western world. His very first principle deals with having the vision to plan for tomorrow.
There are two types of problems: those of today and those of tomorrow. It is easy for you to get caught up in the problems of today such as maintaining product quality, sales, profits, public relations and so on. But you need to keep an eye on the future at the same time.
Vision leads to innovation and innovation leads to constantly improving designs for products and services. It is your responsibility to create a constancy of purpose and a vision for the future.
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