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Balancing Short-Termism with Systems Thinking

“If modern economics pressures are demanding short-term results, then there is little to no time to focus on long-term growth, but how do you resist succumbing to false short-sighted solutions?”

The great wall of china took roughly 2,000 years to build. Today, it is absurd for a lot of organizations to prioritize long-term innovation or human capital investment over their quarterly earnings. And let’s face it, we will never get back to that 2,000-year mark when it comes to investments and planning, because modern economic pressures are continuously mounting to deliver more and more short-term results. It seems almost impossible to meet those short-term demands as well as achieve long-term growth, but by giving into purely the short-term, and therefore, pushing for a shorter and shorter planning phase, are we metaphorically shooting our own foot?

Inadequate planning was a contributing factor in the levies breaking in New Orleans during Katerina as well as the Galaxy Note 7 occasionally catching fire and exploding. Samsung could have had stronger quality control procedures and safety testing, but obviously, jumped a few steps to meet the market window. This malady of short-termism has infected us all; Corporate giant must acquire to survive, small business fighting fires without long-term goals, as well as high school students that can’t think past their next tweet, much less their long-term career aspirations.

The average person spends most of their time planning to the next month, maybe some the next 90 days, with little to no judicious investment in the future repercussions, and it should be said that that is no more sustainable in the long-term, than planning for the next few millenniums. It seems we must force ourselves to get better at making decisions based on long-term considerations by strategically balancing cost/resources as well as supply/demand at work as well as at home. To change our collective orientations and resist the pressure of short-termism, we must first correctly identify the root cause in any given situation, so join me in the investigation and take the first step to a well-planned future.

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Wednesday, 22 November 2017
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