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Business Rule # 23. Check to See If the Spaghetti Stuck to the Wall.

Business Rule # 23.  Check to See If the Spaghetti Stuck to the Wall.

Spaghetti CarbonaraWhen I was in college and the only thing we could afford on most nights was spaghetti.  We tossed it at the sickening green wallpapered walls to see if it’d stick.  If it stuck, dinner was ready to go.  Turns out that this astounding culinary ‘rule’ doesn’t even work.  But, I have to admit that it made kitchen duty kind of fun.

 Tossing the proverbial spaghetti at the wall now seems to be part of the recipe for business decision making.  And, it’s sometimes a good idea.  In fact, sometimes it’s a great idea.  Now, a company with a $100,000 promotion budget would be foolish to spend $80k tossing spaghetti.  But spending $10k to try something new could not only bring surprising results, it may also up the ante on innovation, enthusiasm and excitement in the office.

However, tossing spaghetti at the wall without ever checking to see what sticks is a bad idea… it’s always a bad idea.  You have to check to see if the spaghetti stuck to wall.  Making spur-of-the-moment decisions is OK.  Doing it without any objectives is not.  Doing it without checking performance is as wasteful as air conditioning an empty warehouse.

Here are the 2 essential rules for ‘spaghetti toss’ decisions:

  1. Have an objective.
  2. Measure results.

Notice I said measure results.  Don’t figure out your feelings about the results.  Don’t just say it did (or didn’t work) without some type of rational, logical, valid reliable measurement.  It’s not too different from the carpentry rule ‘measure twice, cut once’.  Without measuring, you’ll never learn what works and what doesn’t.  You’ll just end up with a wall full of dried-up spaghetti and no dinner.

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