Strategic Planning: 15 minutes, 15 months, 15 years

On a recent Friday morning, I had a lot of fun sharing the principles of growing a great company with the team of frontline managers of Fossil Project Services, a fast-growing company.

The best in their field delivering impressive work for clients with exceptionally high standards, this company has grown tremendously since its inception and is getting stronger at the same time.

“Someone’s sitting in the shade today because someone planted a tree a long time ago.” – Warren Buffett, investor

Like good, fast-growing companies, they have doubled in the last three to five years and, because a key driver of their growth is building great leaders for the future – they have more than doubled their internal core competencies.

Our intention, in this session, was to teach these current and future leaders many of the principles we use in planning sessions and developing senior leaders. So we taught them the principles of Scaling Up, Rockefeller Habits 2.0, Your Oxygen Mask First and other valuable tools.

When we were talking about strategy, the General Manager Dave Kearns made an interesting comment to his team that, to continue to make the company better, we can’t be looking just 15 minutes ahead, we need to be looking 15 months and even 15 years ahead.

That was profound because the long-term vision of a company is meant to be 15 years ahead and the strategies to take big steps ahead are 15 months – or more – ahead. But the work we have to do now is really a 15-minute focus.

The Challenge

  • Do you spend enough time on 15 months and 15 years?
  • And when you are looking at 15 minutes, are you looking at the highest value strategies that will have the highest impact today and 15 years from now?

Aside from the pleasure of sharing new concepts, is seeing how people, in many different roles, truly aspire to grow and improve. To me, there’s nothing more inspiring.