Systematic Abandonment

What got you here won’t get you there.

As we learn and grow, we need to adopt progressively more complicated processes and ideas. But we commonly fail to prune our minds of the things we’ve outgrown.

Legendary business consultant Peter Drucker described this concept as systematic abandonment:

“The first step in a growth policy is not to decide where and how to grow. It is to decide what to abandon. In order to grow, a business must have a systematic policy to get rid of the outgrown, the obsolete, the unproductive.”

—Peter Drucker

Or, as was said by another business luminary, Michael Porter:

“The essence of strategy is choosing what not to do. There’s a fundamental distinction between strategy and operational effectiveness. Strategy is about making choices, trade-offs; it’s about deliberately choosing to be different.”

—Michael Porter

Most people never make this a conscious practice, and failing to do so limits their growth. As a practice, take the time to regularly re-assess your methods and habits. Ask yourself, “does it still make sense to do this?”

Further study: