Diet Shmyat

What diet are you on? South Beach? The Zone? Atkins?

You ARE on one, even though it may not have a name.

Although what we eat doesn’t have a name that it’s commonly known as, “the modern diet” is a thing. As much a thing as South Beach or Atkins.

Just not explicitly or knowingly chosen by you.

You can eat chips whenever you want, this is normal isnt it? Only because they are frozen in a bag in your freezer and need only 22 minutes in the oven.

You eat a Mars bar as this is what people eat when they are on the move and in a hurry. It wasn’t until they advertised that it was.

You eat a huge bucket of popcorn at the cinema, not because it is normal, but because of David Wallerstein. In the 1950’s he wanted to sell more popcorn but found that people won’t buy a second box of popcorn, as they felt greedy buying a second box. But if cinema owners pile double or triple the amount into a huge bucket customers will buy it, as it seems to offer more “value” than smaller ones do.

Next time you pop a couple of Cadbury’s chocolate fingers into your child school lunch box  this isn’t “normal” usual and default.  At some point in the past chocolate was a treat for special occasions like Christmas or birthdays, it’s only because Cadbury wanted to sell more chocolate, they couldn’t make more special occasions but they could increase the times that people would eat chocolate, by normalising the eating of chocolate. Hey presto, snacking and grazing on chocolate. From a once a month treat, it’s now an all day, every day treat.

This is the same as work

People think that they are in a default  non-chosen, non-designed model of work. Something that is ordinary, there-before-you-arrived-and-there-when-you-leave. It doesn’t have a name, nobody talks about where it came from so you don’t notice it.

Instead people think everything else with a name is artificial.   Anything specially chosen.

It’s not. Anything chosen explicitly is as artificial as the one you don’t know you’ve chosen.

Just like the modern diet, you didn’t have to explicitly choose it, you just have to not bother to choose anything else. It’s easy because it’s there. Everything laid on for you.

It’s easy only because it IS the default setting, the ease is in not having to think about it. But it’s actually really hard to do. It creates and requires the full bureaucracies of mismanagement, plans, targets, IPRs, charters, standards and non-jobs. A lot of hard work just to avoid changing your mind, but it is still easier to keep on doing all this than do something different.

Don’t be a chump. Make a choice.


“The men who made us fat” BBC programme
Commentary on the programme

This entry was posted in change, command and control, psychology, systems thinking and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

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