“If everything you do needs to work on a three-year time horizon, then you’re competing against a lot of people,” Bezos told Wired in 2011. “But if you’re willing to invest on a seven-year time horizon, you’re now competing against a fraction of those people, because very few companies are willing to do that.”
Most independent schools have a three or five-year strategic plan. However, many are also moving away from such traditional and time-bound structures, and putting in place more fluid and flexible long-range plans. I wonder how Bezos’ ideas of investing on a seven-year time horizon would work in an independent school. Are corporate entities like Amazon all that different in their strategic thinking than independent schools? (Recognize that I’m viewing this question from 30,000 feet; the ground realities of Amazon and schools are expectedly different.) The greater question that this quote raises for me is how businesses and schools can effectively balance short-term priorities with long-term goals. What does that look like?
I encourage you to read the rest of the article for more ‘food for thought’ (click here). Talking about food, I love Bezos’ two-pizza rule: “if a team couldn’t be fed with two pizzas, it was too big.”