What Can We Learn From Last Meals? – A Lack Of Future Orientation Leads Employees To Make Poor Choices


The movies always have that scene where the condemned prisoner orders their last meal but we don’t often get to hear the choices. It’s not a set menu usually. They never say, “I’ll have a number 12.” Fortunately the research has been done and by “fortunately,” I don’t mean for the multinational broccoli corporations. It’s not good news for them.

Here’s a link to the abstract of the research.

The first sentence is the key for me and provides a nice segue to my own topic of employee engagement, however tenuous. “The growing macabre fascination with “last meals” offers a window into one’s true desires when one’s value of the future is discounted close to zero.”

The 3 conclusions were:

1. The average last meal is calorically rich

2. The most frequent requests are also calorie dense

3. Many requested branded foods or beverages (Not sure this is an experience Coke wants to taste better with?)

So, when we don’t care about the future, we make very bad decisions.

Do your people at work care about their future? If you’ve got a young team, does 20-year-old Carl care about 45-year-old Carl? Listen to them and observe their behaviour for their use of tense. Do they frame everything in terms of the past, present or future – in what proportions?

And if they order a fried chicken wrapped in a steak covered in cheese, then they really don’t care about their future. Or their intestines.

About Terry Williams - The Brain-Based Boss

I'm all about engaging people and helping you engage yours to influence behaviour to improve results - at work and at home. Maybe you're a manager, a salesperson, a leader, a parent, a presenter or an event organiser? You need to grab your people's attention, create some rapport, be memorable and influence behaviour change. How can we do that? I'm originally a trainer by trade, turned manager, turned comedian and partway back again. Author of 'THE GUIDE: How to kiss, get a job & other stuff you need to know', I write and speak about how to engage people, be they employees, family or yourself. How can we connect with people’s own internal motivations and help them use their own inner passions to drive towards productivity, success and happiness? And hopefully have a few laughs along the way... As a trainer facilitating learning and development in others, I find myself drawing on my own extensive business experience. I specialise in the delivery of high impact, customised training solutions for organisations that are serious about improving the performance and lives of their people.

Posted on December 11, 2012, in Behaviour, Employee Engagement, Health And Wellness and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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