You can achieve the same strategic goals of planting a forest during a 15-year strategic plan by taking action in year one or year fourteen. The only difference is the impact of the goal. The action taken in year one has fourteen years to mature and become viable. The seedlings planted in the last year of the plan are juvenile and yet to take root. Their impact is yet to be discovered.
The importance of sequencing and timing makes me wonder about educational funding. We can invest heavily in early start and preschool initiatives that provide young children with plenty of support when they are in the most formative phase of development (seedlings) and then shape their educational growth as they reach the high school grade level (pruning phase). But if we wait to add the greatest support (richest soils and nutrients) until a students has reached the upper grades then we have essentially missed the chance to grow a forest. Timing and prioritization effect some strategies more than other. I would suggest that leaving our best cultivation efforts and deepest investments for the later stages of the educational timeline results in the ultimate dustbowl.
Visiting the small Italian town of Sassello I noticed that the church bells sounded on the hour but slightly offset in their timing. Each church bell chimed in s progression, one after another. Three distinct rings set so they did not overlap. Resident in this small valley not only knew the time but which bell was being struck, instead of a cacophony of competing tones.
What does your enterprise do to make sure its unique message is heard by the desired audience without being lost in the noise?