Put the coffee back in the pot

Oct 26, 2010

Man stands up from the breakfast table and leashes his dog for the morning walk.Man* looks at his half-finished cup of coffee and thinks “I should really pour the coffee back into the pot so it’s warm when I return.” Man doesn’t. Man comes back, and for the nth time that month, either has to waste the coffee by pouring it away, or put up with sub-standard coffee by microwaving it.

Same thing with great business growth ideas. I visit founders, owners and managers all the time whose office desks and conference tables are stained with the ancient coffee rings of tens (if not hundreds) of abandoned, stale, or heated-over ideas, initiatives and strategies.

If the time isn’t right for a strategy, don’t do it. But above all else, don’t ruin a perfectly good strategy by letting it hang out to get old, cold and unattractive. Put it back in the pot until you’re ready.

*When I say ‘Man’, I mean, of course, me.

If you’re the type of person who hatches more good ideas than you can implement, and you recognize the ‘cold coffee cup’ syndrome, take a little time to explore David Allen’s concept of the ‘Someday/Maybe’ list – it might be a useful tool for you.