May 25, 2009
If your new strategy development process does not deal with the CRAP you need to let go of it will surely fail.
There is no way you can renew your strategic direction and target new customers and re-vector your HOW to WIN position if you continue to do things that were part of your old plan. You simply do not have sufficient resources and bandwidth to do it all, and even if you did the past will create inertia that will prevent you from moving to a new place.
So, treat Cutting the CRAP as a fundamental part of your strategy building process. Once you have charted your new course, include CRAP analysis in your execution plan. What things are you now doing that are no longer necessary? How can they be eliminated? What resources can be made available to your new strategy by cutting the CRAP?
Create a CRAP list and make it long; create a KEEP list and make it small. Make it tough on yourself to retain CRAP. Subject each CRAP item to rigorous review before deciding to KEEP it. Remember CRAP represents potential resources to get on with the new.
Beware of those who possess the CRAP! These Custodians of the Past are people who are comfortable handling past activities; they enjoy them and they don’t want to change. These Managers of Irrelevance are critical to the CRAP elimination process, for if they are permitted to continue to do their thing they will infect others in your organization and prevent them from taking on the new direction. You need to identify these folks and manage them: either reassign them or, if they are unwilling to move to the future, exit them with dignity from your organization.
Designate a Cut the CRAP Champion for the task; make it a senior person in your organization that has the tenacity, perseverance and currency with employees to give the job the credibility it deserves. Charge this person (make it a critical component of their Performance and Compensation Plan) to make it happen. Review progress regularly. Communicate results to the organization.
Make it matter to everyone. When someone tells you they don’t have the resources to execute the new direction ask them how much CRAP they have eliminated. Make the organization accountable to CRAP elimination.
Share your successes with me.