room44 innovates

You remember that old saying that consultants trot out when they’re there to help develop a long-range strategy: the best time to plant a tree was twenty years ago, the next best time is now?

It’s a great saying. It tells us where we’ve all gone wrong, and it instils a sense of utter hopelessness – all that time gone and no way back.

The best time to plant a tree to sit under

One of the people we watch, for good reason, is legend amongst wealth generators and head of Berkshire Hathaway, Warren Buffet. I was reminded recently in an article in The New European by Patience Wheatcroft that he put it better; “Someone’s sitting in the shade of a tree today because someone planted a tree a long time ago”.

I’ve previously referred to Prof. Hal Hershfield’s book called Your Future Self where the relationship between our present self is so far removed from our future self that we tend to spend our income now rather than invest it for our future when the latter is more prudent. Something Warren Buffet probably agrees with.

Short termism

Short termism is possibly the most catastrophic human failing that we are seeing affect the future of everything that we know, today.

  • Let’s get through this month and hit the target
  • Let’s try to pay the mortgage
  • Let’s not accept a reduction in tail pipe emissions if it means paying a ULEZ fee
  • Let’s not pick a policy and stick to it when we know that it’s absolutely the right thing to do if it threatens our grip on power and influence today

Like the microcosms that influence your decisions in your businesses, the need to stay ahead supersedes the rationale long-term.

Tail pipe emissions

There are lots of examples of short-termism to point at that will negatively affect a wider cohort over time. The UK Labour party turned on its own member’s (Sadiq Khan) decision to impose the Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) policy across wider London to save a bit of influence. The undeniable truth is that tail-pipe emissions are killing some of the same people who voted against the policy. Why? Because the immediate affect is a £12.50 per day charge. No-one needs that right now.

The rationale response could otherwise be, why are we voting down a Labour policy created by Conservatives (namely by Boris Johnson) when we could invest £250 a month in a newer, less damaging car or bikes for the family that will reduce air pollution, reduce asthma and other respiratory related illness, and cost less in fuel consumption.

Influencers know this

Picking out single things we can all do to make a difference is obviously right.

Influencers with a macro view of our conditions know this. Greta Thungberg’s little book of wisdom, No one is too small too make a difference or Alistair Campbell’s But what can I do? are responding to a trend and a craving for individuals to be able to make a difference.

Collectively we can. But it would be easier to reconsider our points of view if we weren’t always chasing down increasing mortgage costs and higher food and fuel prices or that monthly target. These priorities have the effect of keeping our minds in the present.

But, what can I do?

Our first job individually is to decide what is our priority and then who best represents us?

The people who want to represent us need to treat our priorities as the point of having influence and not as a means to getting it.

room44 divider


room44 divider

case studies

room44 divider

We’re collaborators – so we can’t do it alone

Tell us what your company needs.


Call us

+44 (0)20 8123 9018

Book a call

Check my calendar

Find us

Silverstone Park, NN12 8GX