The Importance of Long-Term Thinking


The world of business is changing rapidly. The constant focus on short-term goals can be a detriment to the long-term success of your company. To understand why this is true, let’s look at some of the benefits of long-term thinking:

The Importance of Long-Term Thinking

Long-term thinking is important for sustainable businesses. It helps you to plan for the future, focus on the big picture and balance short-term goals.

Long-Term Thinking Brings Innovation

Long-term thinking is the key to innovation. Innovation is the key to long-term success. And without it, your business will surely fail.

Innovation has been a driving force behind many of our greatest successes as a species: from inventing tools like knives and forks (or spoons) that allow us to eat more efficiently; to creating improved modes of transportation such as cars and planes; or even more recently, developing new technologies like smartphones that allow us access information anywhere at any time–these are all examples of innovation helping us improve our lives!

Innovation also helps businesses grow by enabling them to stay ahead of their competitors by creating better products or services than those currently being offered in their industry sector. In fact, this is exactly what happened with Apple when they released their first iPhone back in 2007: it was so innovative compared with other phones on sale at that time because its touchscreen interface made it easy for users who weren’t very tech-savvy (like me)

Long-Term Thinking Can Balance Short-Term Goals

In addition to helping you achieve your short-term goals, long-term thinking can also help you to achieve your long-term goals.

For example, if you want to start a business and make it successful, then you might think that this requires doing everything at once: finding customers, building websites and apps, etc. However if you take some time off from all of those tasks and instead focus on building relationships with potential customers (for example via social media), then when the time comes for them to purchase something from your company–they’ll already know who they’re buying from!

Companies shouldn’t forget about long-term goals when it’s time to focus on the short term.

In his book, “Thinking Fast and Slow,” Nobel Prize winner Daniel Kahneman discusses the importance of long-term thinking. He talks about two systems in our brain: one that is fast and emotional, the other that is slow and logical. The first system is responsible for most of our automatic behavior–like breathing and walking–and it’s also what keeps us from being able to multi-task effectively. The second system allows us to think more deeply about things like future consequences or whether we should order Chinese takeout tonight instead of making dinner at home (spoiler alert: you shouldn’t order Chinese takeout).

Kahneman explains how companies can get caught up in short term thinking when they need to be focused on long term goals: “When faced with an immediate choice between two attractive options…the intuitive response seems rational because both alternatives are attractive.” For example, imagine you’re at work when your boss comes by asking if you would be willing to stay late tonight so that he can finish something up before leaving for vacation tomorrow morning; this request comes just as another colleague walks by asking if anyone would like pizza delivered for lunch today since she just ordered some herself! You have two choices here–either stay late or eat pizza for lunch–but which one do most people choose? It turns out that studies show most people choose whichever option leaves them feeling better about themselves right now rather than later; however this decision often leads them down paths where they regret their actions later down line (elevator example).


Companies are always trying to balance their short-term goals with long-term goals, but this can be difficult. The best way to ensure that your company is focused on both the short term and long term is by making sure that all employees have access to information about both types of planning at all times. This will ensure that everyone has a clear understanding of where they are in relation to these goals, which means they will know when it’s time for them to focus more on one than the other!

Leroy Auyeung

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