FIGHTING THE URGE TO SETTLE FOR INSTANT GRATIFICATION
In a world where technology has made waiting for anything seem antiquated and unnecessary, I think it is fair to say that for most of us instant gratification is not considered a luxury, it is an expectation and necessity. If something can’t be done immediately, then we often will move on until we find something that meets our immediate need, even if it isn’t as good as something that may have taken longer.
Those of us with gray in our beards (and whatever is left of our hair) like to call out the instant gratification need in Millennials and Generation Z, but be honest, even if you are a Baby Boomer or Generation X product, I bet you are guilty of picking a drive thru based on the line or quickly flipping to another web site when the one you were on fails to quickly load.
I have found in my 15 years working with stakeholders on issues of community impact that getting people to withstand the urge for instant gratification and instead dive deeper to identify and work on a more systemic issue can often be an exercise in futility.
On one hand, I get it. Business leaders, elected officials and non-profit leaders often are focused on the most immediate need. They are hearing from customers, clients, constituents and employees about the crisis of the moment and feel pressure to do something quickly to deal with it.
I have often called this the “pothole syndrome”. People want the immediate pothole fixed and often don’t care if there is a big truck headed straight for them.
Now I am all for fixing the potholes. Especially in today’s world where COVID-19, economic disparity and social unrest are impacting millions of Americans, immediate solutions to reduce the burdens must be found and implemented.