Long-Sight in a Short-/Fore-/Hind-Sighted World

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In a world where hindsight is undervalued, foresight is overestimated, and near-term reactions seem to be winning the day, long-sightedness is barely in evidence. 

Long-sightedness is wisdom’s domain, so it is not difficult to imagine what happens when a long-sighted perspective is not in the conversation. In fact, long-sightedness sets a table where past (hind), present (near-term) and future (fore) can come together for conversation rather than shout angrily from a cold distance.

Pick a topic, any topic:

  • Investment strategy
  • Climate change
  • Defining fashion
  • The importance of gender identity
  • Urban planning (your city or mine, it doesn’t matter)
  • The scandal at a nearby congregation
  • The decline of print newspaper
  • Dealing with a cantankerous customer
  • An especially besetting issue you are facing
Now work through the four categories, using these long-effective strategic planning questions:
  1. What perspective does hindsight offer?
  2. What trends do a forecast indicate?
  3. What is tempting to do right now and why?
  4. What will matter about this in the long-term?
In every case, engaging long-sightedness slows the heart rate, focuses the mind, deepens breathing, lowers blood pressure, moves a person (and an organization) away from those fight-flight-freeze responses and integrates the hind-near-fore separation.

Engaging long-sightedness places us at a remove, a place from which to look at the dynamic in its entirety (past, present and future), a place in which we can see connections and systems and momentum and not be overwhelmed by complexity.

Even more, we can connect most deeply to the mission we say we love, the one that drives us and should drive our decisions.

Long-sightedness is a mental discipline rather than a calendar appointment.

Long-sightedness is Yoda, Gandalf, the prophet Elisha and Dumbledore.

Long-sightedness cares about ancestry and progeny, and that progeny begets progeny.

Long-sightedness is leadership, not just management.

Long-sightedness is stewardship.


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About the Author

Mark VincentMark L. Vincent's personal involvement in walking beside leaders and organizations as they build for tomorrow comes from 30 years of business planning, revitalizing organizations, leading complex decision-making scenarios and bringing thought leadership to the intersections where enterprise, values and economics meet.

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This post originally appeared on the Design Group International's website. It it reprinted here with the permission of the author.
Published: 04/16/2019

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