Alligators and the swamp

The economy has drained the swamp for us and the alligators are long gone. Now what? Take a look around. The water level is now low enough to see the trash that has accumulated on the bottom when we were too busy fending off alligators. This is the stuff that costs us time and money but was insignificant when we were busy. Look around and haul one of these old habits to the dump before the water rises again and you either can’t find it or have forgotten about it. Not sure what these are? A few suggestions:

  • Holiday cards are expensive, take up your time and are rarely seen by the person you send them to. Instead contribute that money to the favorite charities of a small number of your best clients (top 5%-10%) and place personal calls to them, thanking them for their support for your firm. Don’t know what their favorite charity is? Ask them and make sure you remember it for next year.
  • Buying foursomes for charity golf tournaments may give you an excuse to play, but the only person who really appreciates your contribution is the mid level development person who organized the tournament. Instead arrange a private golf outing with the person who has the authority to hire your firm for the next project and spend the difference on a meaningful and consistent follow up strategy.
  • Take an honest look at your office calendar. Most weekly staff meetings exist for the purpose of keeping the boss in the loop and are a waste of time for your staff. Take that time each week for an authentic exchange of information with each of your colleagues, one per week in rotation.  You must continue the flow of information (no news is ALWAYS perceived to be bad news) both directions but do it in a way that is productive (read: one on one).

When the water rises again, and I suspect you believe it will if you are reading this post, the alligators will return. But that’s another story…