Written by Peter-Jan Roose
In a previous article, we painted a picture of our vision for 2030. It highlighted several big trends that will impact business reality in the next decade. Every single business will, to a certain degree, have to cope with trends such as transparency, climate crisis, or resource pressures.
Staying relevant in the long-term remains very difficult to accomplish, considering every decision made contributes to the chance of reaching this objective.
Decision-making is an essential management skill
A skill that can both drive and impede the growth and financial performance of a business. According to some research, businesses that make decisions quickly are twice as likely to make high-quality decisions, compared to slow decision-makers. Albeit, the vast majority of these decisions are based on short-term financial return and performance.
“Every project needs a payback less than 3 years”
In times of great disruptions, as with COVID-19, it can be difficult for business leaders to focus on the big picture. Making quick, data-driven decisions at the right moment is important, especially in these uncertain times. Nevertheless, it is essential to keep the big picture in mind, and thus set more aspirational goals for the long term.
Short-sighted decisions lead to destructive effects
Businesses that continue to focus on short-term financial return and performance will face the consequences in the future, despite being well aware of the business reality of tomorrow.
A relevant example of this is “greenwashing”. This is when companies spend more time and money on marketing themselves as being sustainable, than actually minimizing their environmental impact. It is a deceitful advertising method to gain favour with consumers, who are increasingly choosing to support businesses that care about improving the planet. Thus, these businesses deliberate misuse trends, such as transparency and climate crisis, in their favour.
Sadly enough, this practice reached pandemic proportions in 2021, as businesses and governments raced to tell the world how much they care about people and the planet. While COVID-19 has, rightfully so, increased the importance of sustainability in the minds of consumers… it also inspired many companies to say that sustainability is at the heart of everything they do. It almost sounds as if all these companies are reading from the same greenwashing manual.