What are you going to stop doing?

A end of year thought for you out there who are going to make resolutions, year plans or decisions about what is next.

Most corporate strategy, planning processes and executive speak is wrapped up in positive language, empowering people to see what they are going to do next.  But it misses off the bit about what you are going to stop doing, and to me that is equally important.

Everyone is busy, 100% allocated or some such.   Adding something else into that mix and expecting everything else to continue is a nonsense. Prioritization processes just guides which bits come first, not which bits stop.

Assuming the implicit trade off doesn't work either because what i'd choose to stop isn't the same as everyone else. 

I heard the line recently , we are great at onboarding technology and miserable at discontinuing it. Couldn't agree more, and by failing to turn anything off we just keep adding to our cost and complexity burden. I'm sure technology isn't alone in this.

So, next time you are in a room deciding whats next, add in the bit about what you will stop. 

"i'm giving up procrastination and that means i'm going to stop watching TV"

"We are going to build IaaS and stop selling hardware"

Be explicit and understand what you will and won't do. It completes the guidance and provides much more clarity, completeness and cohesion to any plan.

PS  Merry Christmas from me.

Take the money

All business is dependent on someone paying for your goods or services. If someone is willing to pay for your stuff, you've hit the jackpot. They recognise the value you offer and are willing to give you money for it.

Except that some companies make it hard for us to give them money, sometimes even impossible. Absurd? I think not. Here are some examples

When I was living in the UK, British Airways  wouldn't accept credit cards from the AsiaPAC region. Think that through, I've been through the whole buying process right up to the point of handing over the money only to be told no you can't.

Vodafone NZ wouldn't let my wife out of a contract, even though she wanted to resign with a new, larger contract and had no handset subsidy applied. She wanted to pay you even more every month but you said no.

This weekend I tried to buy a kids game from Apple and then Amazon. But the US manufactures do not permit shipping outside of the US. These 'geniuses' (in this case Atari ) have effectively limited their market to 4.5% of the global population . This behaviour is quite common and genuinely riles me.  Here’s a hint if you are practicing this type of appartheid, take your business case, multiply it by 20 and that is what you could achieve if you opened your eyes.

If you continue to impose this kind of friction on your buying process, you will loose out. Take my BA example above, in the end I used Expedia to buy those same flights… BA had to pay a commission on that.

So a call out to you companies, remember who pays the bills. Take the money