Don’t fall into the DILLY Trap!

25 02 2015

“The comfort zone is the great enemy to creativity; moving beyond it necessitates intuition, which in turn configures new perspectives and conquers fears.” ~Dan Stevens

“Life begins at the end of your comfort zone.” ~Neale Donald Walsch

My wife is an accountant, and many years ago, she introduced me to the term DILLY – “Do It Like Last Year”.  This is one way of saying that MOST people’s tax return this year will have most of the same boxes filled in the same way as last year, maybe with slightly different numbers.  While appropriate for doing taxes, leaders should be sensitive to falling into the DILLY trap.  They may be doing evaluations of staff, and giving the same comments to their team as last year.  They might deal with a 2 employees who are each 15 minutes late the same way.  They might hold meetings that they use as an opportunity to say the same things they did last week/month.

Avoid the DILLY Trap, when it’s appropriate.  That employee whose evaluation you’re doing probably didn’t have a carbon-copy year of the year before.  Take the time to note their stand-out accomplishments from the current year.  When dealing with those 2 employees who were 15 minutes late, be sure that one of them isn’t on their fourth tardy of the month, while the other’s never had one.  You should treat them differently if they have different performance histories.  Change up your recurring meetings by asking different folks to attend, or change up the agenda in some way.  The DILLY Trap might be easier, but it’s not better in many cases.

Speaking of comfort zone…


Rubes cartoons used with permission.




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