Collective Impatience

by | Jun 5, 2019 | Change |

Both sets of my grandparents immigrated from Holland to Canada. Both of my parents were born in Holland and made the journey with them. The early years in Canada were tough; I grew up hearing stories of having little food or food parcels miraculously appearing on the doorstep when their food cupboards were bare. My mom did not go to high school, my dad did and graduated from a community college. And yet, almost all of the grandchildren of my grandparents have graduated from university, some are doctors, and none of us have experienced poverty. Massive change occurred in a generation or two in our family.

Today, we are bombarded with the short term and immediacy of results. Advances in technology have created the expectation of real time data, real time analysis, and on the go decision making. And even management by tweets.

Often the long arc of change is forgotten, unseen, and even unwanted. We have developed a collective impatience. We live in real time, but when our expectation for change or impact is immediate we only grow our impatience. Not only have we developed a collective impatience, we’ve developed an inability to ‘believe’ our actions have long term implications.

And yet, when we view our lives or careers over the long term we can be more loving, patient and kind with ourselves. When we view our teams, projects and organisations over the long term, our perspective shifts.

I’m looking forward to Simon’s new book about the Infinite Game which I expect will remind us of a longer view; a critical perspective not talked about enough in our world.


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