Today the short term seems to be the rule and immediacy characterizes our contemporary society as a whole.
However Antoine Frérot says: "The short term means we only deal with the immediate present, that is to say with what exists to the detriment of what does not yet exist. It therefore reduces the impact of the imagination and limits the realm of possibilities (…). It thereby hampers creativity and agility and more generally taking initiatives and risks. It consequently prevents the world from adjusting course."
Finding a better balance between short-term imperatives and long-term concern
In order to better reconcile the short and long term, Antoine Frérot recommends 3 actions:
- To protect the interests of future generations, we have to take measures right now, such as for example more effectively regulating the use of the most fragile or rarest natural resources in the regulations, or extend the polluter / payer principle to all types of pollution.
- It is also necessary to reward players that make a long-term commitment and restore the value of actions that prepare for the future. For example, better remuneration or more powers for shareholders of companies that choose to support a company in the long-term should be put in place. And in order to save the planet's resources, products from recycling and the circular economy should have a financial advantage
- Finally, there is a need for better cooperation between the various company stakeholders (customers, shareholders, employees, suppliers, territories, NGOs, and even future generations). The health and even the survival of the company depend on each of the stakeholders getting what they want and their interests being satisfied by making a commitment.
Dealing with urgent matters and building the future at the same time
Business has to broaden its field of vision in order to reconcile short-term pressure with long-term requirements.
"Coordinating the short-term and long-term means adopting a field of vision that is no longer usual. Today, this is probably one of the most difficult and yet one of the most important jobs for a business manager, or for any organization of any kind,” concluded the Chairman and CEO of Veolia.