[Wikimedia-l] Wikimedia (Foundation) endowment

Dariusz Jemielniak darekj at alk.edu.pl
Mon Mar 18 11:28:36 UTC 2013

On Mon, Mar 18, 2013 at 12:15 PM, Federico Leva (Nemo)
<nemowiki at gmail.com>wrote:

> And I still don't see anything in your arguments supporting your theory
> that "in our case any vision and strategy of a
> long time horizon is a grave mistake", except the claim that, probably,
> all the institutions with endowments are more similar to forestry business
> than to us.

This is the opposite of my point. I said that a 100-year strategy time
horizon is possible in businesses in stable and non-changing environments
(where predictability of results is high, like in forestry), while most
organizations (including those with endowments) operate in a much more flux
environment and this time horizon simply does not make sense: all our plans
will have to be revised many times over before 100 years pass, and the risk
of having inadequate strategy is also huge (we tend to be blinded by plans
and stick to them in spite of the changing circumstances).

I honestly don't believe that anyone with some basic understanding of
principles of organizational strategic planning would dispute that.
However, I entirely agree with Fae that we need a powerful, long-term
vision (and I believe that making all knowledge universally accessible is
quite good in this respect, and also appealing to donors for endowment).

In other words, I completely do not understand why you insist that in spite
of a long term vision we also need a 100-year spanning strategy. But let's
assume we do: could you give examples of goals, say for year 10, year 20,
year 50?...



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