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Do Calendars Matter - And Other Useless Acts

by Doug Davidoff | Dec 17, 2008 5:13:40 PM

We had Chinese food for lunch today.  With it, came next year’s calendar.  We’ve also gotten a desk calendar from our insurance agent, real estate agent, and (constantly) from ad specialty firms.  Like most of you, my calendar lives on my phone and computer.  Other than the calendar with pictures of my family on it, I throw all the paper calendars away.

Why then, do they keep sending them or giving them away?  I know the reason used to be to make sure that their name was in front of me when I thought about their service.  Today, it’s just a waste of paper and money.  The only reason I could come up with is that it’s habit.

That got me thinking, what else do we do that no longer serves a meaningful purpose.  Today, I was working with a client who had asked me to review a white paper for them.  As I was discussing it, one of their people responded, “I don’t know why we’re spending so much time on this.  The reality is that no one is likely to read it.”  To which, I responded – why are we doing it then?

I don’t mean to pick on my client here – they’re just the most recent example of this.  As I’ve written before – every action you take either creates value or extracts it.  If you’re not creating value – you’re creating noise and cost.

As we end the year, ask yourself – what Chinese calendars are you sending out?