Let’s talk about short term goals versus long-term goals and the accompanied planning. I know that sounds dry, but: What do you think about it? You see people changing their minds all the time and doing things. It is imperative that you have those long term goals and dreams.
Imagine that you have your life’s goal or your business goals for the longer term, and by the longer term then you’re able to turn around and see what you can do in the short term. That is whatever you’re doing, as long as it’s within those broader, wider, long-term parameters, you can continue on. You might change, technology might change.
Be careful as most systems that use SMART goals (see Smart Goals – Really? Get Real!), almost always forget the long term. It's alright only if your a minor worker and not involved in any strategic planning.
Without a Vision on the Long Term, You Miss Opportunity
Remember in 1986 and ’87 I said a lot, in both speeches and on radio, that we were about to go through a technological revolution that was going to make the Industrial Revolution look small. People thought that was crazy, absolutely crazy. In ’96 when Microsoft first got into the internet, etc. and I started going around, we were talking about how that was going to disrupt and hurt the bigger companies while everybody was trying to say: “No, no, no. They’ll drown out the small companies.” You have to take a look at how technology is affecting it and looking towards that longer term.
I’ve heard recently people thought about some of the things, and the slowdown in many ways of certain areas of technology: “What are we doing? How much more can we do?” Let me say, we’re just starting. It is incredible what’s happening and what’s about to happen. Some of it is actually quite dangerous, but that’s for another time or for your questions.
Watson was a Long Term Goal with Short Term Goals and Projects
So often we get bad examples of people really screwing up one way or the other, but here’s a great example of something that IBM did starting out with what you see now on TV: Watson. You see these little ads where Watson is out by an airplane or something, and they’re asking questions or asking Watson what do or what they should do. When that all started, think way back to 1997 when Watson first beat Garry Kasparov, the world chess champion (details at Wikipedia). Sure, that was a demo. They certainly didn’t get any money or weren’t expecting to make any money off of that. Even a few years later when Watson played Jeopardy against two others and won “a lot of money,” really, the money wasn’t there, it really didn’t do anything. It might have even been donated to charity, I don’t know, but that’s not important. They started to realize what they could do with artificial intelligence and decision-making. Keep in mind this started well before ’97. They built it and started to play with it, and started to do things. It wasn’t until 2014 that IBM was actually able to (and did) create a business unit around Watson.
Think of it: 2011, they won Jeopardy. They also started to look at clinical treatment in 2011 because of the massive amount of technical details and data within the cancer oncology area. Actually in 2013, ’16 and ’17 they signed different agreements with different places, including Sloan Kettering, for oncology diagnostics. They created a chatterbot for children’s toys so that the children would have better interactions with their toys, better conversation. As I say, it wasn’t until 2014 that they actually created the business unit, and that’s when it took off. The first real business use was about 2011, and here we are in 2017, only six years.
Keep in mind that I don’t expect you to create a new computer, world’s renowned computer operator or something, but I do say: If you’re looking at something business-wise, six years isn’t very much time, and look at what IBM is doing in the six years since they built it. Of course they’ve thought about some of these things well beforehand. They didn’t create the business unit until three years ago.
So, Your Life can Completely change direction If you Embrace It
What is in your life, and how happy are you, how satisfied are you? If you’re 30, 40, 50 years of age, what difference does it make? If you’re going to live to 90, if you could take the next 10 years for your long term goal and target your dreams (creating your vision). Okay, just take 7 or 5 years! What could you get accomplished? Instead of thinking what you’re going to do in 3 months, or 6 months, or 8 months – think in terms of 7 years. In the meantime there might be other things you’ll do, but you’ll fit them within that 7-year goal so that you may do things that cause a combination of learning along with making separate income (side income) or working better inside the company that you’re at so that you make additional income while you’re learning something, all focused on that 7-year or 10-year goal. Can you imagine having a new path, better future, new life in that period of time to whatever you wanted it to be?
Now, Years Later IBM Monetizes those Long Term Goals
Let’s look at some of the things that IBM is doing. If you fit into one of these categories, you have to start thinking about: “Gee, if that’s going to take place, what is my current job going to look like in a few years? Is it even going to be around?” In 2014 they started the business unit, in 2016 they started to do weather forecasting, data from 200,000 underground centers that were able to be consolidated. They looked at other data as well, all that as an aid to weather forecasting. In 2017, H&R Block goes nationwide using Watson for tax calculations. Think about that for a minute. The information is just put in, Watson has the ability to take those 700,000 pages of tax code and look at them like nobody else can, and make decisions or ask you questions that are appropriate based on things that they’ve done. Also in 2017 in May, Pebble Beach in California for people on guided tours are to be using Watson, which will have a conversational mode to make decisions, answers, and directions as to where to show people and what to show them.
Kone Elevator, just think of the thousands of elevators all over the place in a big city, they’re able to track every little feature, how fast it’s going, what it’s doing, how often it’s going, the pressure, the amount of oil or so, when it was last changed, etc. but those are all the predictable stuff, but it’s also able to see how much differentiation there is so that as an elevator goes to each floor: “Does it go too far? Too small? By how much?” so that it’ll be able to calculate and see when maintenance is about to be needed so that people can treat things with pre-maintenance rather than replacing at substantially higher costs.
It’s also doing things in finance. Finance, just think of it, there’s thousands of calculations made in all kinds of different areas of finance. Legal, again, all the documents, etc. that are done and the questions that are asked. In retail it’s using NLP, neuro-linguistic programming to present products to people at the best point in the sale cycle based on what they’ve done, what they’ve done previously, what their questions are and how they’re moving along on the sales cycle, and what else they’ve just bought.
Back to you and Relating your Own Long Term Goal Feasibility
There are so many changes occurring. Even if you’re not into thinking in terms of: “Gee, what do I want to be when I grow up in 10 years, 5 years, or 7 years?” you may be looking at: “Oh my gosh, I’m a Financial Analyst”, “I’m a tax assistant”, not even a CPA, or “I am a CPA. Will I be able to use it? How can I use it? Or will it displace many of my colleagues and me, possibly, as well?” Retail, what’s that going to mean for retail and retail jobs? What does it mean for people who have little education? A lot of the people that have come in over the southern border (I know because many have worked for me) have very little to no education. Third grade is basically the height of education that I’ve seen for many of them. There are some very experienced people, but there’s basically different groups of people of higher education and lower education. People who have come across over the past 10-12 years, many of them suffer. Where are they going to fit in? What jobs will they have? What jobs will you have? What jobs will your children have?
All of those things require the planning, decisions, and a little bit longer term. Because of what’s happening, you may have to choose and adjust in the near future. You may learn new things from your short term goals that change your long term goal. There is nothing wrong with change, but keeping alignment between short term and long term goals result in a more efficient and faster progress.
Do you have thoughts? Send them off to me. Send me your concerns. Best wishes. Thank you very much for listening. Go over to the Life Unsettled website: www.LifeUnsettled.com, send me a note or get one of the downloads, or just sign up and I’ll try to stay in touch with you as best as I can and answer your questions.