One of my fellows in the world of product cost and design, Mike Shipulski, just posted the following:
The general synopsis of it is:
- Firms focus more and more on the short term
- The “short term” is shorter and shorter.
- Short term leads to minimization and typically damages long term success
- On the other hand, the firms (especially execs) fear the long term plan as expensive and risky
- So why not focus on the “medium term”
Mike is right. The short term thinking kills companies and actually wastes a lot of time and money – paradoxically.
I would offer the following addition: Short, Medium, and Long term all have their places, but there has to a be a thoughtful and maintained plan for each. You just can’t make a plan today and then look at it in a year. Every 2-3 months, you should be re-assessing and moving the plan accordingly. However, you should not see whipsawing, but just gentle, organic fine tuning as you gain more information.
I also would like for Mike to define the Short, Medium, and Long term. I realize that this changes product to product, but a general guideline would be helpful.