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The Trade Deadline

Systematic Abandonment
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Every July brings an opportunity for each MLB organization to reflect on their mission and progress towards their goals.  This reflection process is what drives decisions for the trade deadline.


What are we lacking?  Do we have too much focus in certain areas?  How is the team culture? What do our recent performance trends tell us?  Who should we add to the team? Who should we let go? These are just a few questions both MLB organizations and your business should be asking each year.


Unfortunately, too many organizations focus on what new opportunities they should be chasing and disregard the strategic impact of their decisions.  When choosing a new opportunity, you are also subconsciously choosing what not to do. One of the most valuable things you can always ask is not ‘What should we do?” but merely “What should we not do?”


The great Peter Drucker coined the term ‘Systematic Abandonment’ to describe this process.  He states “If we did not do this already, would we go into it now? If the answer is no, then the next question is “What do we do now?”  You should set aside times throughout the year to consciously ask these questions.


A few examples of systematic abandonment can be:

  • Recruiting mistakes

  • Unsuccessful projects

  • Incomplete projects

  • Systems that are not delivering consistent results

  • Product lines that no longer generate an adequate ROI

  • So on and so on


Time is your most expensive resource.  So choosing what to stop frees you up to do things more effectively and efficiently.  You will get faster solutions to issues and much quicker alignment to priorities by systematically reviewing the state of your business.

Make sure you put into place the conscious practice of systematic abandonment so your organization gets re-calibrated, refocused and on its way to reaching your destination.

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