I handle logistics for an organization’s innovation cohort – arranging meals, travel, accommodations, communication, hospitality – but one thing that I don’t do is make coffee. Making a good pot seems to require a magic touch, like a chef putting just the right amount of ingredients into a big pot of soup.

The Keurig K-cups give the illusion that there is a standard amount of grounds to make the perfect cup, but my experience with filling a coffeemaker is quite different from that. Even with elaborate written instructions, the author of them still varies the portions and defines “heaping” differently than others do. As a non-coffee drinker, I have no manner to judge whether I’m on the mark or not. Cohort members joke with me about it because I do most any other task but I have concluded that it’s best to leave the coffee making to the coffee drinkers.

Is there an equivalent to coffeemaking in your organization – something that can be done to accommodate personal preference rather than trying to standardize it – or can you develop your own version of K-cups to take the guesswork out of a variable process? Or maybe it’s just best to leave some tasks for others.

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