An ‘exceedingly good’ tip

What, why, when, how, what, who

I’d like to introduce you to someone who’s saved me a lot of time and money over the years.

He may well have done the same for you.

He’s Mr Kipling; not the maker of exceedingly good cakes, but the author of the famous lines:

“I keep six honest serving-men

(They taught me all I know);

Their names are What and Why and When

And How and Where and Who.”

(from The Elephant’s Child)

I’ve used these serving-men a lot throughout my business life – when I’ve been developing processes and plans, or deciding what and how to delegate and who to, or working to improve my work life balance.

When you have an idea you’re just busting to jump right into and get on with, reeling this little poem off in your head can remind you that a bit of discipline up front will save you a whole lot of bother further down the line.

What, Why, When, How, Where, Who

It’s hard to argue that Planning, Process development or Cost Benefit Analysis are sexy and fun, but they’ll save you a whole heap of money in the long term and free your time to enjoy things that are.

So instead of “do, do, do, patch, patch, patch” why not try “plan, plan, plan, implement, review, improve”. Your team and customers will love you for it too.

On the other hand, if a snake wanders into your office – just kill it! (Only hypothetical, for any snake lovers out there!)

Now, where did I leave that fondant fancy…?

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