What Now

Published: Nov 05 , 2015
Author: Alan Smith


Am I reading this right?

We're all getting fat because we eat too much and don't exercise enough. Right? Well, not if you look at the debate about fat versus sugar now playing out.

For years it was thought fat was bad for you: it made you get fat, so low-fat food was good. But the 'fat is bad' dogma is being widely challenged. Carbohydrates, including sugar, are increasingly viewed as the evil, fattening, toxic ingredient.

Avoid the fry up and you will be fine. But the trouble with fat in your food is that it makes it taste good and if you take it out you have to do something to make it palatable. Sugar.

Now of course diabetes is on the increase and doctors/the medical profession tell us that type 2 diabetes will be at epidemic proportions before you know it.

What are we to do? Well my preference is to move about and if you like to eat and drink that’s kind of what you have to do. Very few of us take even a moderate amount of exercise and even though on average calorie intake per head of the population has not increased significantly since the Second World War the amount of calories expended has plummeted. Same in less out.

But what it also highlights for me is the ever-changing information and sets of priorities we have to contend with in our everyday lives. Not sure why this should surprise me, or indeed anyone, as Buddha would have told you the only constant in life is change. It is this need to hold on to constants that creates most of the misery in the western world.

Forget that at your peril.

For the negotiator the constant question we should ask ourselves is what has changed since the last discussion? Has my power increased or decreased? What new incentives and/or sanctions may come into play? What are the new dynamics and priorities I need to contend with internally and externally? How has the market altered and what is my place in it?

The subtle shifts and changes that allow us to nuance and improve our position, or recognise a difficulty and plan appropriately may make the difference between a deal with some fat in it, or a deal that may be no deal at all.

Alan Smith


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Alan Smith

About the author:

Alan Smith
My background is marketing and advertising. After graduating in Economics I entered the agency world to become, at 28, MD of London's largest independent below-the-line marketing provider.

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Who is Going to Pick the Fruit?

It’s amazing how many people go into negotiations with no clear idea about their bottom line. “We’ll see how it goes,” seems to be the rather naïve thought and of course they leave themselves open to the risk of a really poor and unprofitable deal at the end of it. It is empowering to know your bottom line, especially when you have internal agreement at senior level. Think about it: the other side are aggressively demanding that you improve your terms, but you know that what they are asking for is beyond your bottom line.

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