Is Long-Term Strategy Dead?

Andy Jordan is President of Roffensian Consulting S.A., a Roatan, Honduras-based management consulting firm with a comprehensive project management practice. Andy always appreciates feedback and discussion on the issues raised in his articles and can be reached at Andy's new book Risk Management for Project Driven Organizations is now available.

A friend of mine who is the CEO of a company of around 400 people recently asked his leadership team in one of their regular meetings, “Is there any point in having a long-term strategy?” He was being facetious; he recognizes that strategy is important and wants the team to think in terms of long-term goals and growth, but he also wanted them to recognize that the environment the company operates within is now very different.

We’ve had a number of conversations over the past few years about the importance of building an organization that is able to respond quickly to changes that impact them. This company is in an industry that has seen a lot of disruption because of technology, and it had to reinvent itself to succeed in a very different competitive landscape, with vastly different customer expectations.

The company emerged from that dramatic shift in a strong position, but there was a lot of pain involved and the CEO was determined to build a leadership team that was capable of adapting much more quickly to changes going forward. They implemented a much more conscious and ongoing review of existing and emerging competitors. They also implemented more formal engagement with customers, establishing user communities and hosting quarterly events for potential customers to understand not only what their current needs are, but also how they expect those …

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"O, it is excellent To have a giant's strength! But it is tyrannous To use it like a giant."

- William Shakespeare