Waiting for another marshmallow

Long term thinking.

This week I discussed the idea of basing management decisions on a long-term philosophy with a few of my colleagues. It’s a concept that few will argue against, but yet is known for creating friction within organizations between management and line workers.

I consider the relationship between management and shareholders as a major contributor that increases pressure around short term results. Healthy results are certainly desired by ownership and management, but it can lead to contention. The Harvard Business Review published a good article on the relationship between shareholders and management that describes factors that influence some of the behaviors on this topic.  It’s good reading for a historical view of the changing makeup of shareholders.

What the kids taught us.Marshmallow

Then I remembered the Stanford marshmallow experiment about delayed gratification. 15 minutes is a long time for a child!

The basic premise was a child was given a single marshmallow and they could eat it right-away. But if they waited for 15 minutes they could have two marshmallows.  What’s great was that researchers followed up with the experiment years later and found that children who were able to wait longer for the extra rewards “tended to have better life outcomes, as measured by SAT score, educational attainment,  and body mass index.” Now that’s something to think about!

Onward and upward!