With low confidence in the economic recovery, a lot of companies are filling their work needs using project based employment and short term hires. For your short term operational needs, these are great sources of relatively cheap labor (I will discuss this in another post). But for strategic initiatives, you need people thinking about the long term success, not just next quarter or the end of the project. The incentives for short term work by their definition are not aligned with long term objectives. Why would temporary employees care about the welfare of the company three years down the road if their involvement ends in one month?
For strategic initiatives you need longer term employees - people who will face the consequences of their actions and decisions. They also provide cohesiveness from one project to the next, and make decisions based on the long range business goals and not only on the short term project objectives. They represent and transmit the culture of your company. They provide the history and traditions that have made you a success in the past.