If we set the decision lenght of a goal too far – the goals will be eaten up by the imminent future and risk lose focus.
If the set the decision lenght too short, we risk "decision thrashing" (organisation loses faith in leadership because of constant change in direction, seemingly without thought). An example would be changing strategy more often than the strategy can be implemented.
So it is very important we set the goal horizon to a periodicity which allows organisation understand, assimliate and produce results.
Meeting a senior management member from Volvo brought this issue to light for me many years ago.
"How long time does it take when top managment changes strategy from the decision until the shop floor worker understand what it means in his daily work?" – he asked.
"I don’t know" – I replied.
"Three years" – he replied.