CHAPTER 17

Identify and Kill Outdated Objectives

by Jessica Avery

When we think of strategic action, we often focus on what new things we should start doing: What projects should our department or team take on to contribute to the organization’s end goal? What innovative business ideas should we pursue? While this forward thinking is essential, many managers forget a key step in achieving those results: leaving the past behind.

In his book The Three-Box Solution, Tuck School of Business professor Vijay Govindarajan introduces three “boxes” for allocating an organization’s time, energy, and resources:

Box 1: Manage the present by optimizing core businesses.

Box 2: Forget the past by letting go of the values and practices that have lost relevance. ...

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