As westerners, we live in a world of instant gratification. It's an integral part of our culture, particularly in the USA. We are introduced to it as babes, and we become more adept as we grow into adulthood. Whether it be toys, mobile devices, motor cars, houses, share portfolios or some other expression, we want it all and we want it now. The rock band Queen sung a song about it. Photographers have given it a name: Gear Acquisition Syndrome ("Do you have GAS?").
Instant gratification pervades business as well, although some writers have lamented the consequences of short-termism in business: sustainability is the oft-cited casualty. While many of their arguments have substance, most of those who write about the problems of short-termism in business are simply shouting into the wind. Lawrence Fink makes the point deftly.
If the short-termism is a problem that needs to be fixed (because its effects are no longer tenable), two options stand out: more rules or different culture. The current practice, of creating more rules every time a major breach occurs, simply serves to impose more cost. Also, people find ways to get around rules. We need to get off that carousel: it's going nowhere. The better answer is probably to tackle the culture. Any volunteers?
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Thoughts on corporate governance, strategy and boardcraft; our place in the world; and other topics that catch my attention.