Today I want to continue my discussion on how to take a long term approach in a short term environment and culture. This is my final installment in this discussion thread based on an earlier article I wrote that asked – Are there any new ‘concepts’ or are we simply getting fooled by re-hashing tried and true concepts? I want to re-iterate my theme and driving force behind this series, I believe now that we are being blinded by a culture that is very short sighted and does not pay heed to the past. It seems that leaders, and organizations by extension, are so focused on the short term future that they are inadvertently buying into these re-hashed concepts.
This is why I believe it is so important to take these steps to help your organization progress and be successful in the future.
So, in my last entry I described my suggestion for your second step – publish and maintain your organizations vision and priorities. I strongly believe this should be ingrained into the fabric of your organization. It should be an integral piece and reviewed for every project that you undertake as part of the approval process. Again, I suggest you treat the priorities and vision as the guiding principles they are meant to be. Every project that gets approved should be evaluated based on how it supports the vision and priorities!
So now in this post I want to focus on what I suggested was the last step to help you implement the steps required to develop your organization’s capabilities -
- Teach your organization how to focus on the long term again. In addition to this you must also learn how to meld the short term goals with your long term objectives.
This will be the most difficult aspect of this endeavor, mainly because the concept is so elusive and even can be said to be at odds with the goals and objectives of the culture. After all, how can you encourage your organization to take an action that is in direct conflict with every objective and priority driving your organization and the people running your organization? It’s not easy by any means and requires dedication, creativity and careful planning. First you must understand your organization’s vision and priorities; you must live and breathe them in your activities until they become second nature. Second you must use a little creativity to develop a plan that will deliver the long term vision through a series of short term deliverables.
Now for the most difficult part of this concept, and the most critical to its success; you must regularly review your plan against the vision and priorities to ensure that you can adjust the sequence of your deliverables in order to better meet the short term priorities of your organization. This program and concept can be both the most difficult and the most rewarding undertaking in your career. There is also a bit of a risk involved – just to make it a little more interesting!
So my advice to help you in the success of this endeavor is to be patient, be creative and be resolute in your actions to deliver the long term goals while remaining focused on the long term vision. I hope that you can see that each of the activities that I’ve described will help to build a solid foundation and framework to put in place a very successful program. In addition, the steps I’ve described will also help you to build a solid foundation for implementing a social framework that will support your initiative and provide the momentum to maintain the success.
Now for the audience participation portion of this program……
Would you say that your organization is focused on the short term to the exclusion of the long term?
How has this focus impacted your organization and your team?