Just one thing

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Throw out your long lists of things to do. Here are two simple steps to make your business better.

Just one thing

I don’t know about you, but I often feel a bit overwhelmed at this time of the year with all of the things I am supposed to be doing as a business owner. And when I get overwhelmed I tend to make lists – long and involved lists that are often constructed deep into the night – I’m working on my business, adding value; right? 

Now those lists were something of a work of art with prioritised heirachical structures and elaborate cross-referencing – things of beauty really. The only problem was that they were never implemented.

In business life these days, I think we are “over consulted” and tend to “over think” things. There are too many words floating around, too many meetings, too many “latest and greatest” management fads, and we do too much business with ourselves (internal beauracracies).

Too many words and not enough real business being done.

Some years back I stumbled across a concept called “the power of one”. Maybe it will work for you too. It’s a simple two-step, and the “thing” can be small or large:

  1. Just think of one thing that you could do differently right now that would both positively improve your business and be worth the effort.
  2. Do that thing.

As soon as you can, repeat the process. And as soon as you can, let your employees in on the act.

That’s my goal for 2008 – to use the Power of One as often as I can.

You can apply the Power of One in many ways. For example, when one of your team does some training or other professional development, ask them to bring back just one learning to share (and implement) with their peers. They will often bring back more and of course that’s OK too. Pick one learning to share and implement, and then do it again.

And you can still use the Power of One as a transactional prompt for continuous improvement or corporate change; or anything for that matter.

You want to change the world? Start with just one person doing one thing differently and go from there.



Mark Robilliard and business partners Peter Frampton and Carmen Mettler started a journey to find a new way for anyone to ‘get accounting’ and use it in their job and life to create value. Accounting Comes Alive was born and now provides workshops all over the world using their unique and friendly Colour Accounting™ learning system that really does work, for everyone.


To read more Mark Robilliard blogs, click here.



Louise Gorrie writes: Mark, I love this theory. Simple, easy, effective. I’m going to start right now.

Paul D Hauck writes: One small suggestion; “Do that thing, and finish it.” Otherwise, you risk becoming a loose cannon, firing off lots of things, and leaving them to others as soon as they get dull or difficult. Execution, execution, execution.



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