I once visited a potential new client. Before the meeting, he had told me that he had poor IT infrastructure, and he needed to address a variety of issues with his equipment because it was hurting productivity.

I attended the meeting and looked at the equipment he had in place. His brief assessment was correct. He had been sold equipment that was not powerful enough to do what he required. Furthermore, the equipment he had was not configured correctly to suit his requirements.

I told him what his network should look like and what equipment should be in place. I discussed the way it should be configured to maximise his efficiency. He loved the vision, and he could see that it would make him much more efficient. He needed the additional productivity, and he could see that he would achieve that with my ideas.

Here was the clincher, though. “I only installed this network 12 months ago, and I still have two years to go on my lease. It would be such a waste of money to replace the equipment now,” he said.

How often have you heard someone complaining about equipment they are using, but they need to keep using it because it cost them so much money or is relatively new? All the while, they are losing productivity benefits they would achieve by putting in the correct equipment.

No one likes to throw money away, and no one likes to admit they have made a mistake, but sometimes the best course of action is to ignore what you have done in the past and don’t make future decisions based on past mistakes. Get past your past. We sometimes persevere with something inferior when we should strive to use the best.

What was the end result with my client? He made the plunge and spent the money on a new network. When I spoke with him six months later, he told me the productivity gains and benefits had far outweighed the initial pain of throwing away dead money.

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