Bryan’s Blog: Objectives over three time horizons

Last Blog I wrote about how you need to understand your motivation to make sure you are answering the right question when you set your objectives. This Blog asks you to think about setting objectives over three time horizons.

My colleague Dr Andrew Pratley introduced me to the Three Horizons of Growth concept introduced by Mehrdad Baghai, Lar Bradshaw, Stephen Coley and David White in their 1999 paper in the Journal of Business Strategy. Their thesis was that in order to sustain growth you need to be monitoring which parts of the business were in mature, emergent and embryonic phases and that you need to keep feeding the growth pipeline with new products and services as existing ones fade away.

In the diagram below I take their lead and show the difference between the horizons in terms of the type of planning you should be doing at appropriate intervals. I also highlight how the concepts of opportunity and risk change in context over the three horizons. It re-emphasises for me that uncertainty is a strategic leader’s best friend. Within uncertainty is the opportunity. Learn to harness it and the future will be bright.

Objectives Over Three Time Horizons