Most of us have heard of the Christmas Ghosts of Past, Present and Future but almost no one hears of them as applied to management. Before a manager takes an action they should think of how it fits within these three contexts.
Past: What is the history and culture of the organization? Will your decisions fit within the context of the past and can people connect with it now?
Present: What do you need to do and say now? Are there actions that need to be completed? What type of resources do you have.
Future: A few years down the road your decisions will have an impact. Do you know how it will strengthen or weaken long-term goals? Does it give you the most options?