Tuesday, May 3, 2011

"Peanut Butter Spread..."

Some of my greatest inspiration comes from the next generation! If you drink as much coffee as I do sooner or later you are going to get to know the people you regularly see at Starbuck's. My new found friend Derek used the term "peanut butter spread" the other day in describing his corporate dilemma. What the heck is "peanut butter spread" I asked? He e-mailed me a definition: "the act of taking meager resources and spreading them as thin as possible to cover the most projects." I love the latest lingo! I'm challenged by the younger guys with fresh ideas!

"Peanut butter spreading" has got to be happening all across America. As we limp out of the recession, so many businesses have downsized (or "right sized" to be PC!) that a lot of the employees remaining find themselves doing jobs, and assuming responsibilities that never fit their original job descriptions. We are all trying to make do with what we've got.

'Desperate times make people do desperate things!' The Great Recession has caused everyone to re-examine every part of their personal and professional situations. The temptation clearly is to be all things to all people by "peanut butter spreading" ourselves around to keeps all bases covered. If we're not careful, the results will be disastrous! We're talking permanently damaged relationships and projects!

The response to the challenge of trying to make your peanut butter go further are varied. Some people have chosen to use new, untested resources and talent to hit new lower cost targets. Frankly a lot of new talent these days will literally say, or do just about anything to try and keep their job - and who can blame them?!! If we take this approach the question becomes 'will I be sorry later that I cut these corners?' Are we living in the moment, or taking the long view?

Across the board we are seeing less opulence in our buying decisions. People seem to be "peanut butter spreading" even their budgets across a wider variety of options. A recent article in MainStreet by Jill Krasny noted "...homebuyers are also forgoing traditionally pricey granite countertops for standard laminate countertops." Are we really willing to take a gigantic step backwards for the sake of "spreading" our buying dollars over the same size projects we pursued before the recession, or would it be better to downsize?

Should we be asking ourselves when purchasing goods and services what our true needs are? If we are the one constantly frazzled because we are trying to be all things to all people, do we need to re-examine who we are, what is our uniqueness, and what are our talents? It may be time to re-assess certain areas of our lives to make sure we don't end up getting spread around like peanut butter!


  1. Like so many of your insightful morsels called "blogs" the truly amazing transformation is how a little thought or idea can be a tipping point for something so much greater! Well said, nest builder!

  2. Love that analogy...makes one think doesn't it!!