One of our favourite projects of 2016 was the messaging and language for an unusual property development project in London.
This client had painstakingly bought individual pieces of riverside land, spanning 26 acres in East London.
Having done so, they could have quickly developed every inch and turned a fast, substantial, short term profit; you could sell a cupboard in London for an eye-watering amount of money.
But they’ve chosen a different path.
They have decided to make a long term investment in the area. This means building a long term relationship with the people that already live there, as well as future residents.
That ‘long term lens” has changed every decision they’ve made. Rather than stacking blocks of flats high, they’re building on a human scale:
1) Building an unprecedented number of 3-bedroom, family homes
2) Creating interesting walkways and paths between the buildings
3) Leaving open public spaces untouched where people can gather and make their own mark
4) Designing a groundbreaking school building, although there was contractually no need to do so
5) Making it easy for independent shops, flea markets and farmer markets to get going
As a result, what they’re building is very different and very special; they’re building a community.
Or rather, allowing space, tools and resources for a real community to flourish.
My question to you is; what decisions would you make differently if you used the long-term lens?
What if you knew your next client would stay a client for the next decade or even longer if you looked after them?
When they next needed you to go the extra mile or needed a favour, wouldn’t you say yes without even thinking about it?
Then say yes anyway.
In fact, why not let your every decision be guided by the long-term lens?
Don’t snap at your partner for being late if you want a happy, harmonious relationship in the long term.
Invest in your community and industry, so that both thrive 100 years from now.
Let your kids make a mess in the kitchen so that they’ll be able to feed themselves one day.
Essentially, treat everyone and everything that matters in your life as if you’re in it together for the long haul.
Because then - you will be.
And that is the secret for trusted relationships and sustainable growth in the long term.
Photo courtesy of Michigan Communities.