Black Friday

So there it was Black Friday 2014 – come and gone.

A flurry of frantic commercialism prompted by the incipient festival of commerciality we call Christmas. A dazzling allure of temptation passing itself off as value. How many people will wake up on Credit Card Monday to look at their bills and wonder why exactly they wanted yet another coffee machine, or television, or whatever they’d been seduced into buying by in the promises of a never to be repeated bargain – well at least until Boxing Day.

I know it’s tough out there for retailers and I know that when customers can look to price discounts in the US and buy from there that there is a need to match those prices. But its worth just stopping for a moment and ask ourselves a number of important questions.

How often do we look for a quick solution – a bargain – rather than actually looking at what we need and investing wisely? If we don’t buy it – someone else will and will steal the march on us we fear. Not stopping to wonder if we actually need it in the first place.

And how often are we seduced by the latest fashion or gadget, disposing of what we already have that could work well if only we learned how to use it properly? Shiny promises of all the additional benefits blind us to all of the benefits the old gadget promised that we have yet to realise fully.

Putting aside views about frantic materialism, both habits can be seen in businesses on a regular basis. There is no doubt that businesses do have to move at pace to compete. But equally some things – like culture, do take time and investment to create. Real time and investment by senior managers – off their time and the business’s money.

Instead you can see a whole series of Black Fridays as egged on by the consulting profession and internal fashionista they buy into one change agenda after another – never really committing themselves or the business properly and as a result never really realising the benefits they otherwise might.

Sometimes there is a lot of truth in the old saying – more speed less haste. Both when managing a business or shopping for a bargain!