Fat Smoker Principles: Surviving a Short-Term Environment
post # 435 — September 19, 2007 — a Managing, Strategy and the Fat Smoker post
I have been discussing the fat smoker principles here in Australia: that we don’t do what’s good for us because we are unwilling to incur short-term discomfort to get even a massive long-term benefit.
As is normal, people come up to me at the breaks and say, “I believe this, and I’m willing to invest for the longer term, but it’s my bosses who don’t get this. The entire culture and environment is built on getting ever demanding short-term results!”
They then go on to ask two questions:
a) How can I convince my bosses to take the longer term view; and
b) How should I operate if I can’t?
I’m not entirely happy with my current answer:
There’s no way to change your boss except to deliver great results – preferably by managing superbly, thereby winning permission to keep doing it your way.
In a bad environment, you get two choices as a manager: pass on the pressures coming down upon you (thereby being a participant – no matter how unwilling – in sustaining a climate of “it’s a;; about the short term”) or, somehow, you try to protect your team from the pressures upon you. You pass some of it on, but not unfiltered.
The second choice involves managing with an air of “We’ve got to produce short-term results, but let’s do it OUR way – with standards, mutual respect and mutual support. We can create our own culture for our own group, can’t we?”
What do you think? Is there a better way to (realistically) avoid being a particpant in a short-term culture?
CAN you influence your boss(es) to change?
CAN you protect your team from the S*** coming down from on high?