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20 Days To A Better Business: Day 7 Create a ‘To Stop List’

Each Monday we focus on one activity you can do today or  over the next week to build yourself a  better business.  These short, actionable posts will show you what steps you need to take to take your business to the next level.

In case you’ve missed the previous posts, you can catch up here: 20 Days to Build A Better Business.

This is Day 7: Create A ‘Stop Doing’ List

It was Peter Drucker, the legendary management thinker who first suggested that choosing what not to do was as much a strategic option as deciding what to do. Drucker’s theory of “purposeful abandonment” championed business leaders to quickly sever ties with projects, processes or policies which had outlived their usefulness.

Jack Welch the former CEO of GE famously sold or exited each of the businesses that GE owned where it was not number 1 or number 2 in the market in which it operated.

Drucker’s view (as quoted in Inside Drucker’s Brain) was that the first step in growth planning was not to decide where and how to grow, but decide what to abandon.  “In order to grow, a business must have a systematic policy to get rid of the outgrown, the obsolete, the unproductive [areas of the business]”.

The more projects you have to focus upon the less time you have for each project. So by killing off projects and stopping spending time on them, you’ve got more time available to focus on the projects that have the most promise.

So, in your new found time which  you’ve gained from Day 1: blocking out time to focus on your business, you need to start right now by making a list of a projects, policies, processes or products that you should consider stopping. Get input from your partners or employees for suggestions and evaluate each of these ideas on it’s merits.  Then commit to stopping or ‘killing’ one of these items in the next month.

So, in the comments section below, tell us what projects you are going to look at adding to your ‘To Stop list’.