Years ago I was reading an article in some business or entrepreneurship magazine about companies which had a 500 year plan, and the idea intrigued me. So I started to create my own plan. I didn’t get very far, just putting a skeleton of a plan in place. Today I dusted off the Microsoft Word 2007 Beta document and opened it in the non-beta version of Word 2007 for the first time. It was a good shot in the arm, reminding me of why I am where I am today and where I am going.
Like I mentioned in my last post, sometimes it is so easy to get lost in the tasks and doing of it all, and forget the vision and why of it all. And when you forget the vision and the why, it all feels like a burden.
But why a 500 Year Plan, and not a 100 year or even a 50 year plan? One thing that a 500 year plan does is force you to think of the legacy that you will leave behind. People are starting to live into their 100’s, and companies & organizations can exist perpetually, way beyond the founder’s death. It really forces you to examine what will truly be left behind after you are gone. And then there is something interesting that they found when studying these companies with a 500 year plan. What they thought would take 500 years, often only took 100 or 150 years, not 500. We do tend to overestimate what we can do in short time frames, but underestimate what we can accomplish in longer time frames. And that is definitely true in this case.
So I thought that perhaps I should build a 500 year plan for myself, centered around a certain vision and principles that I stand for. It is this vision and principles that define who I am, and it is this vision and principles that motivate me. Plus there is the practical part about having one document to refer to when I need to get aligned with my vision and principles again. And it will definitely require Scott 2.0 to implement the plan.
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