Coffee-boarding

Jul 30, 2010

I admit it – I drink too much coffee. I’m doing it right now, in fact.I have no real excuse for it, except that it’s a long standing habit, and I like the stuff. I tell myself it does all sorts of things for my cognitive system, but I know the well-established fact: that after the first two cups, it’s actually detrimental to my well-being. I know that, but I keep doing it anyway.

I see leaders doing the same thing to their organizations every day – persisting with some ingrained habit that is certainly helpful if done in moderation, but which they’ve got so hooked on that they’re actually damaging their organization by overdoing it. And they’re overdoing it simply because of the ‘hit’ it gives them.

Examples I’ve seen this month alone include:

– Pulling people in to unscheduled, unplanned ‘blue-sky’ sessions;
– Grabbing reports or other documents for random ‘deep-dives’;
– Friday afternoon gab-fests;
– Re-allocating people’s resources, projects or responsibilities.

All these things are good and important. Until they’re not. And they’re not when you’re doing it for what it does for you, rather than for the good of the organization.

What’s your coffee?