Closed coffee shopOptimism in business is not always the best basis to make plans.

A local supermarket decided to put in a coffee shop within their store. They made a partnership with Tully’s, a coffee company based in Vermont. The coffee was fine. However, the location was not. Another very similar coffee shop opened in the same exact spot a few years before – and closed after about a year.

What made the supermarket decision-makers think that Tully’s would be different? I’m not sure. I suspect it was a sense of optimism. I did not want to say, “I told you so,” when the Tully’s shop closed. I knew it would fail as soon as I saw them opening the shop, maybe two years before the closing.

The moral of the story? List the reasons why a new initiative from your organization failed. Ask all the players that you can find who were involved in the initiative. Learn from that mistake and do not repeat it! Use the lessons learned from that failed initiative to plan ahead for your next initiative.