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Is Long-Term Planning Still Important?

With so much emphasis on short-term reactions, is there still a place for long-term planning?

26Nov

Today's marketplace is highly demanding and requires a vigilant approach to organisational strategy that allows problems to be met with quick and effective solutions. In some cases, this has taken emphasis away from long-term planning, as companies have come to the assumption that their ability to remain competitive is more reliant on short-term planning than anything else.

It is however incorrect to say that organisations shouldn't plan for the long-term, in fact, without a vision or a long-term objective, there is little for a company to measure its performance by. Leadership also benefits from long-term planning as it breeds team cohesion and provides management with greater rational when they're making important decisions that have the capacity to disrupt a company's internal processes.

It's also important that a company's short term responses to market fluctuations aren't solely reactive. Having a detailed vision allows companies to align their short term responses with a vision that the company is looking to project, making their decisions, to some extent, proactive. A company that just sits and waits for its competitors to come alive will not be profitable in the long run either, a company needs to have a long-term strategy that sees them also affect their competitors and the marketplace as a whole.

A short term response mechanism is without question an imperative function in today's organisations, but long term strategic planning will continue to play an essential role. Companies should set long-term objectives and have tactics in place, but at the same time, management should be under no illusion that their plans won't have to change, especially if they're forecasting five, ten years in front. 

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