10 Years from Now

Do you have a 10-year goal? Ever thought about what your business would look like in 10 years? What role will you be playing? What structure will your team have? What revenue will you be targeting?

Recently, I watched a TV show on the building of the Panama Canal. It took over 30 years from the first construction attempts and is an amazing engineering feat because there was no natural waterway through — it is completely manufactured!

Yet, the vision was to connect the Atlantic Ocean with the Pacific Ocean by dividing North and South America, as this would provide better, faster, safer shipping routes for the US Navy and commercial shipping lines. This was a big and audacious goal.

Jim Collins and Jerry Porras (Built to Last, 1994) talk about big, hairy audacious goals (BHAG). You have probably heard of these, as they have been proven so effective that nearly 30 years after that book was written, variations of the same are still being used by executives and entrepreneurs worldwide and the concept is referenced in more recent books by authors such as Gino Wickman (Traction, 2007).

Big goals provide a vision of the future

Big goals such as these provide a vision of the future for the people who are tasked with delivering it. We all like to know what we’re aiming for. Without a vision, an ambitious goal, we have no reason to strive to be inventive, different, better. A vision provides motivation and inspiration and unites people in the pursuit of something more.

I work with large corporations and small family businesses, yet I see the same issues occur time and again. Without a vision, priorities tend to be on the short-term issues of the day, and the organisation never quite gets around to topics such as succession planning that a long-term vision and strategic plan require.

Your long-term vision might be for 5 years or 25 years or anything in between, but without one, your 90-day plans are probably not delivering what they could be. Are you ready to be audacious?