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Creating a Vision for Your Company's Future
Where do you want to go?
A classic question for many job interviews and performance reviews is “Where do you see yourself in five years?”
As leaders, we need to answer that question as individuals, and also for our team, our division, and our company. We might even think about answering it for our industry (at least in our region), as well.
Too often, we get down-in-the-weeds on the day-to-day deadlines, processes, meetings, and other short-term items. Every once in a while, we need to think strategically.
Are there technical, societal, climate-related, political, economic or other factors that will impact what we are doing now? Electric vehicles? Long-term drought? Demographic changes in where people want to live and work? Technological advancements in what we use or what we make? These can be good (“Yay—opportunities for growth!”) or potentially worrisome (“Yikes—will people even want to buy what we sell in five years?”). Either way, it’s a good idea to start positioning your company to be in a position to thrive.
Within your company, do you have people who are probably going to retire within the next decade? After all, in 2031, anyone born before 1966 will be over 65. That’s ALL the remaining Boomers and the leading edge of Gen-X! Succession planning works SO much better when it includes long-term, comfortably-paced actions to grow a “deep bench” of leaders and experts. Too often, a senior manager announces their imminent retirement, and the people remaining behind scramble to figure out how to fill the huge gaps in the org chart.
If your company has a strategic plan and/or a succession plan, does everybody in the firm know they exist, and what they entail? Communication of these plans helps people develop their own “five-year plans.” Ideally, make sure all of your top performers know and like where YOU see their careers—and how they fit in with the company’s long-term success—in five years, as well.