The Road Forward

The rationale for The Road Forward QUAD is to develop a path laying out where we ultimately want to be and the phase lines to get us there. The information here is all driven by the previous “Big Picture” section.


To illustrate how this section works we will use the example of Amazon in its infancy (1995) when it started out as an online book marketplace. The scenario imagines what Amazon would have used as goals for each quadrant.


*Amazon (1995)

10 Year: 

  • #1 Online retailer
  • Distributions centers East/West coast
  • Expand into web services
  • Premium membership

3 Year: 

  • Launch in the UK
  • Expand into CD's & DVD's
  • Reach valuation of $400 M
  • Acquire

1 Year: 

  • Build one distribution center
  • Company valuation of $200 M
  • Research the UK market
  • Build plan for adding CD's & DVD's to inventory


  • Go public on the NASDAQ
  • Acquire funds for first distribution center
  • Research competitors
  • Upgrade website

10 Year

Also known as your big hairy audacious goal (BHAG). We start this far out in time because you should design a future state that is bigger than what you can see now.

3 Year

Three-year goals should paint an achievable picture for your people. This should be the factor that attracts employees who are on board or pushes people out who don't fit.


Even though this is technically 3 months out, in terms of the pace of business, it is right on top of you. Goals here should be based on that reality but serve as the foundation for Year 1.

1 Year

With the three-year picture in mind, it is more realistic to determine what you must do in the next 12 months to stay on track. Keep one thing in mind, less is more.