One of the most lasting and valuable lessons I’ve ever learned is how to do a regular inventory of my various accountabilities, responsibilities, wish lists and backlogs, and then mercilessly decide which of those things I need to start, stop or continue doing. Done every quarter or so, this is a remarkably useful and freeing exercise, enabling me to clear away the clutter, identify and prioritize things that really matter, and continue doing what I know is useful and productive. 

This simple construct also works well when teams are faced with change, such as working through a reorg, after an acquisition, or in support of a significant new business process.

Or, as it happens, addressing the impact of a pandemic. 

Using “Start, Stop & Continue” to help your company 

The best answers always start with a question, and an important question for leaders to ask at this moment is this: What does your company need to do to support the changes resulting from the COVID19 crisis?

Who should you ask this question of? Our recommendation: your whole team. In doing so, you’ll be able to gain insight across the business into what’s working, and where previously unidentified opportunities exist. Most of our businesses and respective teams have been roiled by change over the last several months, and as the dust starts to settle, identifying the wins that have been generated as a result is important to success in the coming months. 

How you pose the questions is important. Asking “What do we need to start doing, stop doing and continue doing,” will net a very different answer than a question about what can be done better or needs improving. The data gathered can provide insights to fuel innovation, reduce waste and improve operations – all in one fell swoop, as long as the question is asked with an open mind, and answered with unvarnished candor. 

“Asking what you need to stop, start and continue takes courage,” notes Angela Scalpello, founder and principal of The Scalpello Group, specialists in business performance coaching.  “That’s because you have to let go of certain behaviors, and mindsets (the “stop”). You also have to take risks (the “start”). Just as critically you need to have trusting conversations to honestly assess what is and isn’t working so you can correctly select the “continue.”

Free employee engagement tools to help business leaders

Engagement Multiplier is providing businesses free access to a special edition of the company’s comprehensive Benchmark Assessment, a powerful employee engagement survey that also enables leaders to unlock and gather insights and feedback from their teams.   

During the COVID crisis, our teams have shifted to new ways of working and serving customers, and in doing that, they’ve gained remarkable insights, created new processes and found new opportunities for the company. This wisdom is within reach, for leaders who ask. 

“Engagement Multiplier gives us the information we never would have had otherwise,” long time client Amy Bruske, president of Kolbe Corporation, told us. “We are able to take action based on truth.” 

Capture the innovation and insights your teams have generated during the COVID crisis, and capitalize on it to help your company acclimate quickly and succeed – quickly and for free. Find out what’s working, what’s not and where opportunity awaits – and ensure your business emerges stronger. 

Our Benchmark Assessment will help you achieve this, and it’s available to you free, no strings attached. To get started, click on the Free Trial button you see in the upper right-hand corner of this page. 


Webinar: Emerging Stronger from Lockdown 

Asking what the business should start, stop and continue doing is a useful hack for business leaders as they plan for the return to normal operations (or some variation thereof.)  Evaluating initiatives, tasks and projects in this context can provide powerful clarity that’s especially useful when uncertainty still clouds our view. For a deeper dive, tune into our Emerging Stronger webinar below.