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Looking Down The Track

It wasn’t that long ago, in our own business that we were suffering from a short-term mindset. It wasn’t intentional, to be honest: I don’t think we knew we were.

In this day and age of instant information and gratification, you can’t blame any of us for suffering with the business-altering condition of ‘short-term mindset’ and a focus on a quick-win. The trouble with this approach in business is that in reality, there is no silver-bullet or quick fix. Furthermore, if your strategy is working and there is movement in the right direction …then why make a change?

Even in good times, it pays to pause and take stock, because a short-term mindset often generates ripples, further down the track. When spirits are high, the energy and the camaraderie of the team is ‘up’ and everyone is looking to win, the ripple of positivity runs across the business and community. There is very little talk of weathering the storm or we may be reluctant to work within the pre-determined constraints of strategy.

At times we see examples of this in our political arena, where those with voice are putting their views in front of the leadership team with promises of short-term actions. The desire to be heard, the drive to take immediate action -be it a working-group or advisory committee reviewing a plan - there is a clear message that something will change.These may be symptoms of a short-term mindset.

Be aware that future danger may lie in the long-range outcome. For example, paying for a good accountant might seem like an unnecessary expense until you receive an unexpected tax bill, at which point that accountant, with hindsight, would have been a wise investment. If your business can apply a mix of both short and long term thinking you are far more likely to get ‘a win ‘ commercially, for your brand and for your people.

The first step is to identify if you are suffering from a short-term mindset. Ask yourself if you are being reactive to your results and deliberately cutting the budget in the hope of high performance? In every aspect of life you need balance. For example, a week of healthy eating won’t result in long term health benefits. The same applies in your business.

Adopt the habit of questioning your mindset before you leap into action. You need to hold short and long term plans and vision simultaneously: absolutely easier said than done, but the alternative is a very long road and one where you are more reactive than active or effective.

So, are you suffering? You be the judge.

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