Short-Term Versus Long-Term Goals?


A manager said, “I take the long view.  We drive toward goals three to five years in the future.  Annually, we adjust and revise as needed.”

Another manager responded, “I have a general idea of a long-term vision, but I try to avoid getting ahead of my skis.  I pick the three to five most important things we need to accomplish next quarter.”

Personally, I side with the short-term view.  I understand that top-level leaders may dream of exotic future visions.  I’m also aware that most of these visions do not materialize.  And many dramatic developments (internet) were neither predicted nor planned for.

I say apply the effort toward reaching three-month goals such as:  shipping on time, ensuring supplies arrive, improving customer service, controlling costs, and the like.  Each department should have no more than three to five targets.

It is important to track daily, weekly and monthly progress with easy-to-understand metrics.  If the needle falls south of a metric target, the team can quickly adjust.

At the end of the quarter, all members know the score.  Leaders should also have clear insights about which goals to continue, add or drop.

 

 

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