What role does long-term visions play in success in uncertain markets?
None, or thereabouts. Many management gurus have argued for crystal-clear long-term visions-e.g., we will put a man on the moon and bring him back by the end of the decade. To sum up my argument, the benefits of such visions (e.g., inspiration, direction) are outweighed by their costs (i.e., premature lock-in, premature investment, and false confidence). Moreover there are alternatives that achieve the same goal with fewer risks, specifically clear mid-term priorities. Core competencies and resources can also provide a focus on how to move forward into the future. Part of the problem is definitional on what is and isn’t a vision. My objection is to the visions that are both long-term and crystal clear. If in contrast, a vision is long-term and vague it is pretty harmless. This is the path most companies follow, articulating some vague thing about aspiring to global leadership in their industry while being nice to employees, and blah, blah, blah. Of course, such vague visions are typica