keep stop start


A GREAT way to start this New Year off right is to complete the business improvement or self-improvement exercise called “Keep/Stop/Start”.

It’s a simple process – an idea generation/problem solving exercise in which you, as an individual, or in collaboration with your team members, can better meet the challenges lying ahead.

Here’s how it works …… it all starts by making three lists: Head-up your lists:

1. What should we keep doing?
2. What should we stop doing?
3. What should we start doing?

If you are working with your team have them call out and display on the white board or flipchart.

1. What should we KEEP doing?

‘Keeps’ are things that are working well and we should continue doing. Focus on the actions that are working really well.

This list is fun, because it’s about things that you and the team are already doing right. As well as celebrating the success of these actions it also highlights that these things must continue to be done for ongoing effectiveness.

2. What should we START doing?

‘Starts’ are things we should consider doing that we are not doing now. You can also think about some opportunities that could be improved. What activities do you and the team need to focus on and start doing in order to be more successful?

Perhaps you are procrastinating, avoiding or just ignoring certain tasks. It may be an action that you have put into the too hard basket because you have been concentrating on ‘How’ you are going to complete that task instead of concentrating on ‘What’ do you have to do to complete that task.

3. What should we STOP doing?

‘Stops’ are things that are not working and need to be scrapped or fixed – discuss what is ineffective. What do you need to stop doing that is zapping your time and energy, going nowhere, not producing any qualified results and dragging you and you and your team down in frustration?


Just to throw a spanner into the works I like to add another word in this process ………. IMPROVE ……

4. What are we already doing well that we can IMPROVE on?

‘Improves’ are things that we need to become more efficient & effective and better at doing.

When you have filled out every section put-up on the wall where everyone can see it on a regular basis. You can also drill down a bit deeper and focus on some of the actions required in order to work on the “START DOING, KEEP DOING” and IMPROVE” sections.

Have fun with your START, STOP, KEEP & IMPROVE Lists.

It is a powerful tool that will leave you with some lightbulb moments to better meet the challenges lying ahead



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