Is the short term now the new long term? (No wonder we’re stressed.) – SCN Encourager

Sometimes I’m glad I’m a baby boomer (AKA not a young guy)

Screen Shot 2016-08-01 at 8.51.45 PMI’m able to remember the “good old days” when they actually were the “good old days.”

Ah, those thrilling days of yesteryear were cool.

Or should I say they were groovy?

Anyway, those pre-21st learning decades weren’t perfect…

I get it.

But at least the pace of it all back then was slower.

There seemed to be widespread work – life balance; the kind which came to folks naturally, not the kind you had to pursue via the latest productivity webinar.

Now before you write off my goofy reminiscings as just “my goofy reminiscings” – and I’m not saying you’d be wrong – consider this.

Screen Shot 2016-08-01 at 10.46.04 PMIt’ll help explain why we’re so prone to feeling pressured, rushed, and hurried as we try to promote high standards and excellence in our schools.

I think our school districts are like companies in the S & P 500.

Companies in the S & P 500 are a big deal and so are we.

In many communities, we rank right up there with the most influential and stable employers and economic drivers.

But for them… and us… it’s getting tougher to stay there.

In 1958 (Al Kaline’s 5th year with the Tigers, by the way), companies listed in the S & P 500 were not likely to experience much in the way of movement up or down within these rankings at all.

These companies enjoyed what economists describe as a 61 year average stability factor.

In 1980, based on companies either moving up into the list or falling out of it, the average stability factor declined to 25 years.

In 2011, the S & P 500 average stability factor fell to 18 months.

And today, the movement in or out of the S & P 500 list has created an average stability factor of two weeks.

Two weeks!

Screen Shot 2016-08-01 at 10.35.58 PMIt’s almost a joke to even say the S & P 500 has a stability factor anymore.

Most companies (perhaps like us) are doing their level best just to stay one stride ahead of the next market-driven disruption.

Companies are responding by knocking down internal silos and by relying on the combined instincts and insights of collaborative teams who can act fast.

Companies are field-testing, re-directing as feedback comes in, and avoiding rigid long-term strategies and commitments.

They’re thinking short-term, flexible, and customer-centric.

Of course, it’s hard to say whether we should be doing the same… as it’s hard enough just to interpret what the drop in the S & P 500 stability factor means for us.

But I think the new short-term, flexible, and customer-centric direction has some merit.

At least the emphasis on the short-term and customer-centric does.

At my age… the flexible piece has me worried.

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