Chris Sargisson of Norfolk Chamber: Learn about business by cleaning out your fridge (honestly)

The new chief executive of Norfolk Chamber of Commerce, Chris Sargisson. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

The new chief executive of Norfolk Chamber of Commerce, Chris Sargisson. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY


Make a note. November 15 is ‘Clean Out Your Refrigerator Day’.

Apparently it is. Who knew? I’ll leave it to you as to how you handle whatever’s been growing in your fridge for the last few weeks. Or months! Not years, surely. Please say no.

On a less domestic note it is a prompt to think about cleaning out the metaphorical fridge of business and see if you’ve got any strategic plans, objectives or targets that are now, toward year end, past their sell-by dates.

You know, the important ideas that formed from discussions, meeting, ponderings but you put on the back burner – to mix my metaphors – because ‘urgent’, day-to-day things came along.

There’s a profound difference between ‘urgent’ and ‘important’. Sometimes some things are genuinely urgent, even though in the grand scheme of things they’re not of earth-shattering importance. A leak in the roof is urgent. But it’s not going to shift the direction of your brand over the next 12 months is it?

On the other hand, a review of where you think your competitors will be in five years’ time is really important. But, in truth, it doesn’t have to be completed today.

That said, if it is important, don’t let it lie indefinitely.

If a plan, an idea, a possible development has been lying in the back of that fictional fridge for the whole of this year so far, and rather than ripened and matured it’s mouldy and shrivelled then chances are it won’t have any effect. Now’s the time to dump it.

If it is still viable, then it still needs to come out. Maybe it should be defrosted and put to use. Check it and see.

Either way this is an ideal time to reflect on those plans that haven’t been put into operation and get rid of them, or build them into the new plan for next year (now hurtling towards us).

This isn’t about that well-trodden theory that no plan survives its first contact with the enemy. There is truth in that, and the plans you have implemented will doubtless have proved it.

This is to do with the fact that all businesses face changes, and changing priorities, over the course of a year. If the ideas that you didn’t get round to using have simply frosted over, and their absence has had no effect, then they weren’t necessary.

Like that deep frozen luxury gateau at the back of the fridge. The one you put in the trolley on impulse. It was going to be great.

You’d forgotten it, hadn’t you?

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