One of the very frequent questions that I ask my clients is what they can stop doing so that they can create greater value. It usually takes a bit of time to see that there is no grammatical or semantic conflict in the question. Yes, we are talking about not doing something, and, by doing so, creating more value than by carrying on doing it.
There are dozens of translations but the top three from my clients are:
Stop constantly checking on your direct reports and interfering with their work.
Kill a redundant process every week for 2 months.
Focus on a very few things, get rid of the rest and make sure that those few things get all the energy saved by not doing the others that have been left behind.
Doing less may mean achieving more. In true Decision Analysis exercises of resource prioritization, we often find that a combination of (1) stopping project A and (2) spending more in Project B, increases the overall cost/benefit. Even on the basis of pure cost reduction, this can be achieved sometimes by spending more on some things and almost never by cutting across the board.
‘Adding Value’ is a funny thing. Sometimes it requires doing less. The word ‘adding’ does not automatically mean addition.
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