Thursday, 24 January 2008

The right way to trim the fat

The Work Clinic has pointed out that the UK is the fattest nation in Europe.

Could one reason for this be our focus on short-term thinking? A note in my gym (The Royal Berkshire) explains why diets don't work:

"The problem with many diets is that an extreme reduction in calorie intake is usually involved. When this happens:

- The body perceives this as starvation and your Basic Metabolic Rate drops by as much as 20% in 24 hours

- The body will then turn to its protein stores, which are found in the muscles

- The body will also inhibit the activity on enzymes that burn fat and increase the activity of fat storage

- You can become lethargic, irritable and have poor co-ordination - this is due to carbohydrates being low

- Food cravings can start

Welcome to the world of the yo-yo diet."

Of course, the same advice applies to organisations as well. Restructuring often results in short-term and painful reduction of staff after which the organisation quickly puts the same 'weight' back on.
The only way to avoid this is to redesign the organisation and improve critical business processes, not simply take out heads.
I thought pointing this out might provide a timely reminder given that what was supposed to be Blue Monday turned out to be distinctly black.