All human beings, but it seems business leaders in particular, find great discomfort in uncertainty. Uncertainty in the global economy, uncertainty in the credit markets, uncertainty in how new regulations will affect business, uncertainty about what competitors are doing, and uncertainty about how new technology will affect the business—these are just the start of a never-ending list. The bottom line is that uncertainty leads to a short-term focus. Companies are shying away from long-term planning in favour of short-term results, with uncertainty often the excuse. While this might feel right, I believe that a failure to strategically plan five years into the future can end up destroying value.
Do you include uncertainty in your business plans and how do you communicate it?
My problem to be solved is how to balance the need for a more reactive, short-term focus with the need for informed, long-term strategies?