stop-doing list
n. A list of bad habits or negative actions that a person does now, but hopes to stop doing in the near future.

Example Citation:
Do not think of a budget as a tool to determine how much each area of the firm gets when it comes to technology (or any resource for that matter). Think of it as a tool to fully fund your high priorities and don't fund the others...Too often a significant amount of time and emotional capital is expended on funding — or the justification of funding — low priorities. In this case, firms' "stop doing" lists may be as important as their "to do" lists.
—L. Gary Boomer, "Budget your way to better returns from technology," Accounting Today, May 6, 2002

Earliest Citation:
Peter Drucker is fond of asking, "Which of your current businesses would you not enter if you were making a blank-page decision about it today?" Those you identify should be TVs to unplug. You should extend Drucker's logic to every aspect of your company's activities — people, products, systems, structures, and even how you spend your time. You should create a "stop doing" list to complement your "to do" list. Set aside time to explicitly discuss with your managers what to stop doing. The world is full of smart executives who take decisive action. It's woefully short of wise executives who take decisive inaction.
—Jim Collins, "Pulling the Plug," Inc., March 1997

The above citation is from Accounting Today, which bills itself as "The Business Newspaper for the Tax and Accounting Community." In light of the recent accounting scandals, wouldn't it be great if Accounting Today or some other accounting journal gave us a real-world version of what should have been on, say, an Arthur Andersen accountant's stop-doing list:

Stop-Doing List for B. Counter, Arthur Andersen:
Stop insisting that the words audit and ignore are synonyms.
Stop throwing out those "ethics seminar" flyers.
Stop using financial and engineering in the same sentence.
Stop using EBIDTA as a verb.
Stop giggling after saying the phrase Chinese wall.
Stop interpreting the word cookbooks as a command.
Stop ignoring what the "good angel" says.

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