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Harmonize the Immediate and Long-range Future

A manager must, so to speak, keep his nose to the grindstone while lifting his eyes to the hills—quite an acrobatic feat.

A manager has two specific tasks. The first is creation of a true whole that is larger than the sum of its parts, a productive entity that turns out more than the sum of the resources put into it. The second specific task of the manager is to harmonize in every decision and action the requirements of the immediate and of the long-range future. A manager cannot sacrifice either without endangering the enterprise.

If a manager does not take care of the next hundred days, there will be no next hundred years. Whatever the manager does should be sound in expediency as well as in basic long-range objective and principle. And where he cannot harmonize the two time dimensions, he must at least balance them. He must calculate the sacrifice he imposes on the long-range future of the enterprise to protect its immediate interests, or the sacrifice he makes today for the sake of tomorrow. He must limit either sacrifice as much as possible. And he must repair as soon as possible the damage it inflicts. he lives and acts in two time dimensions, and is responsible for the performance of the whole enterprise and of his own component in it.

ACTION POINT: Develop a system of performance measures that will lead to maximizing the total wealth-producing capacity of your organization. Include both short-term measures and long-term measures, as well as quantitative and qualitative measures.

Management: Tasks, Responsibilities, Practices

* Source: The Daily Drucker by Peter F. Drucker

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