Here we are at the end of our series on Steelcase’s “Defining the Code” report. It’s been quite an interesting meander through all the ways groups and individuals perform within a given work environment and a given culture. It’s certainly lifted the curtain away from the hidden assumptions and unspoken rules that drive much of the day to day operations in a business.
Our final comparison is between long term and short term orientation
You can probably guess where most Americans and US organizations fall on this spectrum. We want what we want when we want it (and that would be RIGHT NOW). From the perspective of a company that’s gone public with its stock, it can actually be considered irresponsible to take a course of action other than the one that maximizes short term profits. Our society as a whole has both a short attention span and a hunger for immediate results. We don’t tend to give a lot of thought to the future – especially if we think the problems it brings will be shouldered by someone else.
Of course, the opposite attitude can be just as problematic. Those who have only a long term perspective may be too mired in tradition to evolve with the times. They may tend to stifle innovation and discourage bold action out of a surfeit of caution. Penny pinching can sometimes be the road to poverty in business while perseverance taken too far may mean breaking instead of bending when things change around you. The key is to have a balance between short and long term thinking so you don’t forego current opportunities or disregard the consequence of today’s actions.
How OBEX Fits In
With this particular cultural index, the use of privacy panels really is more about the organization as a whole than about any one individual. We think our products have appeal across both workplace cultures because:
- They immediately improve working conditions for employees, providing instant gratification
- They make workstations flexible over the long haul, saving money for businesses that value thrift