I liked the concept, set out here by Paul Adams, of a roadmap that works to three timelines – one that sets out your long-term vision, one that enables you to plan ahead (but still keep a degree of flexibility), and a shorter-term plan that is concrete and doesn't change. In a rapidly changing environment businesses should be highly adaptive but still require a compelling, longer-term vision to work towards and this creates a good balance.
To quote from Paul's post:
The next 6 years. Your minds eye view of the world 6 years from now, taking into account how it will have changed because of the change you enacted, and how it will have changed based on plotting todays existing trends in a straight/exponential line into the future.
The next 6 months. Your plan for building things that will make a significant impact on your journey towards the change you want to enact in the world. When you look at what you will build within 6 months time you think ‘we’re making great progress’. This however, is subject to change. 6 months from now about 50–75% might be built, and the other 25% is things you hadn’t thought of before. This is a rolling timeline that is updated every couple of months.
The next 6 weeks. These are very concrete. This is your immediate plan. This is what your team know intimately. You know exactly what’s being built. Design work is well underway. This is a rolling timeline that is updated every week or two.
The timescales here may be tweaked according the context and needs of the business of-course but this feels like a sensible take to me. The vision needs to be sufficiently long-term whilst accepting that it's too difficult to predict what you will be or how you will be operating too far out. The mid-term plan needs to give direction whilst not being too rigid (hence a rolling timeline). The immediate plan is concrete because it is already underway, in sharp focus, and would be problematic to change significantly. Nicely done.