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How to shift from a short term to a long term focus

In successful businesses, most of the best folks are operators, not strategists.

The operators align the firm; they own the processes; and they are the core of the firm's culture. They worry about growth and keeping costs down. They want clear direction and the resources to get the job done.

On the strategic planning team, they may feel uncomfortable, ill prepared, and poorly trained when asked to "think long term."

Most frequent best practice Constant, consistent communications on the long-term plan from top to bottom. Emphasize the vision
Most frequent best practice Have both long term and short term goals tied to incentives
Second most frequent best practice Adjust variable compensation to long term
Second most frequent best practice Bring in an external view, a customer's view
Usually works Use an iterative process with periodic reassessment
Usually works Think what if this happens, what are the competitor responses
Usually works Avoid turn-over on the planning team, have cross-functional training
The bar length indicates the most likely method for success.


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