In STAR TREK, the crew was on a five year mission but the parameters of that mission were very widely defined. “To seek out new life and new civilizations.” Not a lot of milestones in that scope are there?
STAR TREK was the ‘60s vision of the future. A future of handheld computers and wireless communication. Of racial integration and collaboration. And it’s a future that (too a certain degree) has come true.
Business thinkers love five year plans. They love the idea of predictable milestones and exit strategies. And, of course, hockey stick financial projections.
But if STAR TREK taught us anything growing up, it’s that you never know what strange peril or new wonder you’ll encounter on your five year mission.
Think about your own life in 2004.
- You probably didn’t have a Facebook page (unless you were a college student)
- Your company probably didn’t have a blog
- Your phone probably didn’t play music
- You didn’t have a Twitter account (because Twitter didn’t exist)
- If you knew who Barack Obama was, you probably thought of him as the guy who gave a good speech at the Democratic National Convention
Flash forward to the present and …
- You’re one of hundreds of millions of people with a Facebook page
- There’s a one in three chance your company has a blog (heck, you may be writing it!)
- Your phone probably doesn’t just play music, it can wirelessly access the internet and maybe even augment your reality
- You know what Twitter is even if you don’t have an account yet
- The guy who gave the good speech is not only President but he just won the Nobel Peace Prize
Think about your own five year plan. Does it involve tactical steps that may be influenced or even derailed by changes in technology or consumer behavior? Or does it incorporate a strategy and business philosophy that will allow you to adapt to the rapid changes we’re going through every day? Are you prepared to “Boldly go where no one has gone before”?