Saturday, April 09, 2005

Long-Term Vision, Short-Term Focus

The Wall Street Journal, April 5th, 2005
Chiefs With the Skills of a COO Gain Favor as Celebrity CEOs Fade

"I'm only as popular as the company's last quarterly results": Mark Hurd, CEO, H-P

It's the eternal debate over long-term vs. short-term interests. We have often accused our managers and CEOs of sacrificing long-term goals for short-term gains. But the generally accepted fact is that the best-run companies are those who maintain short-term focus: GE, Siemens, Dell, ... In the meanwhile, all the "invent" companies out there sooner or later will realize or have realized that they have/had been using their long-term dreams as excuses for underperformances.

Harvard Business Review, January-February 1989
Companyism and Do More Better

"Rowing harder doesn't help if the boat is headed in the wrong direction.": Kenichi Ohmae

Dreamers and visionaries make great leaders, we hear. But the problem with dreaming without executing is that it gets you nowhere. The problem with long-term vision is that you can only guess what is there beyond all those obstructions along the way. So the short-term gains may not be so evil, after all. Taking a note from Finance 101: "a dollar now worths more than a future dollar; a dollar in hand worths more than a promised dollar". It is important to establish checkpoints to earn the short-term gains as well as to ensure you're headed in the right directions.

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