People take me to lunch to pick my brain. It's flattering, and I try not to disappoint.
One piece of fallout that comes from having lunch with me is that I end up getting ideas from the conversation that I use here on the site. Here's one example.
“That's Not Going to Happen”
Yesterday, I had a conversation during which I was told about a long-standing firm retreat.
The firm, which shall remain anonymous, has been doing the retreat for many years. It's one of those weekend affairs with a big dinner, lots of drinking, and a workshop the next day on marketing, team building, or something.
“You've been doing it a long time. Has it made you more money?” I asked.
“Nope,” he responded.
“Why do you still do it?” I asked.
“Because it's what we do,” he said.
We talked briefly about shutting it down, ending it, killing it dead.
“That's not going to happen,” he told me.
I could have banged my head on the brick wall next to me in the restaurant booth, but I didn't have the energy.
“That's not going to happen” bounced around in my head. “How fucking stupid is that?” I kept asking myself.
Oh yeah, they can rationalize the retreat. “It's tradition,” “it brings us closer,” “it helps us share information,” and on and on.
Here's the question they should ask. Does the retreat make you more money?
The answer? Nope.
How Your Firm Should Keep Score
The retreat needs to die (or change radically). Case closed. We run businesses here, my friends.
Money is how we keep score. We make more money when we satisfy clients by doing a great job. They pay us for the work. They tell their friends.
If, after 15 years, the thing you're doing isn't affecting the scoreboard, it's time to change.
You need to examine the things you're doing. Many of them aren't moving you forward. You need to stop doing them. Stop.
“That's not going to happen” is the wrong answer.