The Essence of Strategy is Choosing What NOT to Do

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Use Start/Stop if no more neurons.

These wise words came from the great strategist Michael E Porter.

Look at it this way:

  • Can you spend even more hours in the office?
  • Are you only operating at 70% brainpower, with some spare neurons you can call on?
  • Have you got loads more energy available to give to work issues?

I’m guessing that for most people the answers are ‘no, no – though I accept there might be a few neurons tucked away on the creative side, no again’.

So this suggests to me that, to have the time and energy to start a new initiative, you’ll need to stop doing something else.

Easier to say than do perhaps. But surely a conversation with the boss is worthwhile along the lines of ‘In order for me to get buy-in to this initiative and see it through properly to completion, I’m going to need time and resources. Which of these other projects on my list can I put on hold?’

Start using the Start/Stop rule! It’s better to do a few things well than juggling lots of half thought-out projects!

For more on strategy from Michael Porter in HBR see

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