Bad decisions, deals or people come and go - no matter how serious, their impact quickly presents itself to be dealt with. It's the average deals, products, suppliers, partnerships, employees, marketing which linger, sapping away at your productivity, bottom line and potential to achieve something far more effective.
Look not at just what didn't work in 2010, but what did work but not as well as you'd hoped. Was that partnership or deal that seemed like a smart idea really worth the time you spent on it?
If you hadn't done it, what could you have done instead?Stripping out the evil average requires discipline and focus. Be clear about no more than three objectives you want to achieve in 2011 and resist any temptation which doesn't satisfy one of these.
It really should be that simple. Every opportunity, every activity, every expense should address a core objective in line with timeframe and cost you've accounted for and directly or indirectly, generate revenue for the business. If it doesn't, don't do it.
Be ruthless. If something isn't working it, stop doing it. Don't be married to a decision and persevere for the sake of it. To power-phrase Einstein, the definition of insanity is to keep doing the same thing over and over again and expect different results.
In turn, cutting out the average isn't just about cutting wastage, but channelling the resource at your disposal where it's going to have most effect: what is proven to work.
Too many exciting new businesses never fulfil their potential because they rush to diversify away from the solution their first customers found so compelling before they've fully exploited it.
If you're serious about growing in 2011 and you want spectacular results, be absolutely clear (and proudly ambitious) about what you intend to achieve and focus on nothing but that.