‘Strategy and the Fat Smoker’ is a book by David Maister which has the central theme that knowing what to do is usually easy but doing it is hard. As any fat smoker will tell you, their problem is not knowing what to do, their problem is actually exercising and giving up the fags.
The fat smoker principle applies equally to us as individuals (in our personal life), and businesses. Why do we repeatedly fail to do what’s good for us? Predominantly, it comes down to the fact that human beings are not good at delayed gratification. We don’t like incurring disruption, discomfort and discipline today, for a reward and pleasure in the future.
What actually motivates people and organisations to change? A major crisis – falling business revenues, bank loans in default, or having a heart attack usually does the trick.
Wouldn’t it make sense to implement and make the necessary changes in your personal life and business now, before your heart attack moment?