Horizon Shift

The Westminster village prefers to peddle irrelevant tittle tattle these days rather than offer practical assessment of Government action. So I was happy to catch almost by fluke the current Coalition’s intent to instil an horizon shift in their approach to management. Cameron and Clegg determine their horizon shift as,

“moving away from short-term obsessions towards investment in the future”

One manifestation of this will, we are told, be seen with ministerial tenures. I was horrified to learn that under the previous regime, the average time a minister held particular office was only a remarkably unjust 1.3 years.

As the combined Centre-Right are jumping to point out, this had more to do with generating annual headlines through an unnecessary reshuffle rather than the important business of a guiding long-term purpose. Barely giving people long enough to get to grips with their post inevitably hampers prosperous performance. As Clegg explains, longer occupation will result,

“This Government recognises that constant reshuffling of the ministerial deck… is not conducive to good government, and that we will aspire to greater stability in the way ministers are allowed to govern.”

Regardless of political colour, once these remarks sank in, I felt that I’ve seen countless sales people, managers and teams flounder because they focused on short-term fixes instead of trouble-free long-term running.

There’s always next month, quarter or year. In many ways it helps to be the person taking over after a disastrous preceding period, right?

My suspicion is that a similar horizon shift would benefit most salesforces out there. Refusing to chop and change for the sake of it, to be replaced by commitment to seeing out the year and a focus on paying  structural attention to underlying causes of instability would fundamentally improve results. To the extent that manageable, sustainable growth would be assured.

Of course, the cut and thrust of selling would mean that such a mindset alteration could only work if it came from the very top. How many sales leaders have the appetite for such a worthwhile revolution?

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