An interesting article in the Jul-Aug Harvard Business Review describes how countries that are more “forward-thinking” have achieved better results in measures such as GDP per capita and levels of innovativeness, happiness, confidence, and competitiveness.
In the article, “forward-thinking” is defined as the extent to which a culture encourages and rewards such behavior as delaying gratification, planning, and investing in the future.
While the study was confined to countries, I can imagine that it also applies to companies.
In the Framework approach to strategic planning, we use a method of scenario-generation that looks 20-30 years out into the future. This approach is described in the August issue of FirstCuts in more detail — Issue 14.0 which is available at the Framework Consulting website.
Essentially I think this article is backing the idea of taking a very long view of things, which we endorse.