It sounds like a contradiction in terms, but short is the new long, and long is the new short. Effective executives need to have a long-term perspective, to really think about the future opportunities, as well as the challenges, that exponential change brings to the surface.
But execs equally need to be able to take decisive, short term action, in order to make those long term plans a reality. Once you understand the future, and you’ve designed your future, you need to create it, and that means starting right now.
It’s also a question of accelerating paradigm shifts. Here and now, in 2020, we can expect profound changes within a year to 18 months. For example, within a year, solar power will be the cheapest form of electricity; within 16 months, battery range for electric cars will double, while the price goes down.
This year, lab-grown diamonds will outshine the best mined gems, in terms of clarity and size, and at half the cost per carat. Within the next two years, artificial intelligence will become twice as powerful and useful, and accessible from any mobile device.
You get the picture. Five-year plans are so last century. Now we have to expect major disruption in the current year. Budgets, strategies and tactics have to be ready to anticipate, as well as react, to both expected and unexpected disruptive trends.
Being able to turn on a dime, and comfortable with ambiguity, those are the new skills we have to learn, to thrive in this fast future. The future is uncertain, but if we expect to be surprised, we won’t be!