Sustaining New Year COMMITMENTS The START, STOP, CONTINUE Framework

Written by Larry Fehd, CEO & Founder / HPS

As a follow-on to last week’s article, New Year COMMITMENTS to ‘What Matters Most’, I introduce a method for sustaining commitments.  This article also illustrates the power and significance of simple, substantive and sustainable. 

There are many iterations of the START, STOP, CONTINUE framework. I cannot take credit for the original concept, but I can take credit for developing my version of the framework and using it very successfully with numerous clients.  The framework is simple and easy to use and delivers immediate and sustained impact (value of results).

Assuming you’ve been using the ‘What Matters Most’ tips, the START, STOP, CONTINUE framework is a great compliment and will bolster your momentum.  Plus, it can be used in a wide variety of other applications (e.g. employee coaching, building high-performance teams and even throughout entire organizations).  I have used it very effectively in working with clients who are pursuing major strategic change initiatives such as building a high-performance culture, etc.

Tips for using the START, STOP, CONTINUE framework: 

  • Don’t overthink the framework or process.  Nike’s slogan applies here too, Just Do It®
  • Understand the definitions and context of the START, STOP, CONTINUE framework.
  • START:  Means to begin doing the thought and action parts of your commitments. To borrow from Jim Collins’ research-based findings and book, Good to Great, “Great requires disciplined people, thought and action.”
  • STOP:  Means to deliberately and diligently discontinue doing what you committed not to do.
  • CONTINUE: Means to maintain what is working and supporting progress toward or the accomplishment of your goals.
  • Establish simple metrics to evaluate progress toward your commitments and the accomplishment of your goals. Take time to celebrate your progress and achievement of goals.  There is often too much emphasis on what did not go well and far too little on all the things that are going well.  Always play to your strengths and mitigate vulnerabilities. You are far more likely to achieve your goals if you leverage your strengths and natural talents.

Practical applications for START, STOP, CONTINUE:

  • Coaching employees by affirming what’s going well (i.e. CONTINUE playing to and leveraging strengths) while also incorporating the START and STOP components of the framework.  Be sure to incorporate a few simple metrics for the START and STOP components.  I recommend that you have the employee develop these metrics in conjunction with your buy-in as it tends to foster a deeper commitment and greater accountability.
  • Peer to peer feedback or what I refer to as Lateral Coaching™.  It offers an effective mechanism to provide quick, real-time feedback from one peer to another or reciprocally in a very constructive and non-threatening fashion.
  • In teams as a brainstorming exercise to bring focus and engage deeper commitment (e.g. developing effective team behaviors, how the team will serve and interact with customers, internal and external stakeholders, etc.).
  • In organizations when leading a strategic change initiative.  It gets everyone on the same page with some very simple and easy-to-understand behaviors in the context of the framework.

We welcome your comments regarding this article and suggestions for future topics.  Simply reply to this post or contact me directly at; (512) 415-0748.

Larry Fehd

Chief Executive Officer & Founder / HPS
Executive Leadership & Business Optimization Advisor

M: (512) 415-0748

Comment on this Article

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *