How to Create a Stop Doing List

This is so simple. Or at least we can make it that way.

Meeting #1: Brainstorm

  1. Gather a team together. State the purpose before arriving, so they can already have some thoughts stirring.
  2. Commit to only 15 minutes. Plus, another 15-minute follow up.
  3. Ask two questions:
    1. What do you do, that you’ve been told to do, that you don’t believe impacts learning?
    2. What do you do, that you believe could be modified, to get a larger impact?
  4. Put the answers on a T-Chart: Stop Doing vs. Could Modify
  5. No judgments or criticism. Accept all responses.
  6. The list is not final. That’s what the next meeting is for.

Analyze the List

Before the next meeting, carefully consider each side of the T-chart. The “modify” side should easily be approved. That’s a great way to value involvement and recognize that equifinalities are valuable in your school culture.

On the “Stop Doing” side, consider which of the recommendations are firmly grounded in the school’s vision values.

Meeting #2: Act

If the team is recommending stopping action or programs that are grounded in the vision values, two things could be true:

  1. The vision value has not been communicated clearly enough. Now you know what to do. Don’t be afraid of redundancy – it’s clearly needed here.
  2. There’s a better program or action that could enact this vision value. This is where the discussion needs to center.

If the team is recommending stopping action or a program that is not grounded in the vision values, then stop doing it. Done deal.



This strategy, and the research behind it, is featured in Episode 8 of Season 3. Listen here.