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The deal or no deal work environment

The deal or no deal work environment

Howie Mandel (center), host of the popular television game show, "Deal or No Deal"

Have you ever worked in a “deal or no deal” environment? This is an environment where decisions are being made quickly based upon a constantly changing sets of facts, and the decisions are based solely on short-term results. The ultimate goal is to strike it rich as quickly as possible and leave with a check in hand.  I derived the name from a popular television game show, called “Deal or No Deal.”  According to their website the game works as follows:

Hosted by Howie Mandel, “Deal or No Deal” is an exhilarating hit game show where contestants play and deal for a top prize of $1 million in a high-energy contest of nerves, instincts and raw intuition. The game of odds and chance unfolds when a contestant is confronted with 26 sealed briefcases full of varying amounts of cash – ranging from a measly penny to $1 million. Without knowing the amount in each briefcase, the contestant picks one – his to keep, if he chooses – until its unsealing at game’s end.  The risk element kicks in when the player must then instinctively eliminate the remaining 25 cases – which are opened and the amount of cash inside revealed. The pressure mounts as in each round, after a pre-determined number of cases are opened, the participant is tempted by a mysterious entity known only as “the Banker” to accept an offer of cash in exchange for what might be contained in the contestant’s chosen briefcase – prompting Mandel to ask the all-important question – Deal or No Deal?

My observation is that it is very difficult for contestants to stop the game and take the money offered by the mysterious banker.  They continue to play by selecting more briefcases and lose more money with each try as they are tempted to hit it rich playing the game.  Their short-sighted decision-making usually causes them to leave relatively empty-handed.

Decisions based on short-term consequences are typically selfish decisions.  Translating this to the business world, short-term is the enemy of long-standing, viable organizations who treat their employees, customers and community with utmost respect.

Companies built on the premise of making quick profits are detrimental to all those associated with the organization. Things may go well for one, two, three, four or five years. But its demise will come and hurt many as it falls.

I encourage you to think long-term today. Reject the “deal or no deal” philosophy of life because it leads to personal and financial ruin.

Kevin Kennemer is founder of The People Group based in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Kevin is driven by his passion for company owners and their need to earn a profit, employees’ desire for a positive and fulfilling work experience, and the community that benefits when both groups do well.

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