The Keep, Add And Do Differently Approach

This is an approach that can help individuals, teams and organisations to develop rather than telling them they have to change. It also gives them some ownership in working towards the aims.

This article focuses on how you can use the approach when working with teams. But it can also be adapted to other situations.

The approach starts by communicating the big picture and giving people the context. It then involves describing the team’s strategy for moving forwards and the benefits of achieving the future picture of success.

It is important to share this information in a way that enables people to see the reasons for pursuing the future strategy. Imagine that you have taken this step and people are prepared to contribute towards achieving the goals.

The next step is to invite people to suggest ideas that will help them and the organisation to achieve these aims. Invite each person to write their suggestions on Post-it Notes under the following headings.

Keep Doing

They are to write what they believe their team or the organisation needs to keep doing in order to achieve future goals.


They are to write what they believe their team or the organisation may need to add in order to achieve the future goals.

Do Differently

They are to write what they believe their team or the organisation may need to consider doing differently in order to achieve the future goals.

People can write as many ideas as they wish under each category. It is good if they can write one idea per Post-it, because this makes the ideas easer to collate afterwards.

Give people at least fifteen minutes to write their Post-its. They can then be invited to go up in turn and put their ideas under the relevant headings. They can also explain their reasons for each idea.

After all the ideas have been added, you may want to discuss some of the themes that have emerged. The ideas can then be collated and shared back with people.

It will be important to describe how some of the ideas are going to be implemented. Plus, if appropriate, the support that people will be given to enable them to achieve the aims.

Looking ahead, can you think of a situation where you may want to follow elements of this approach? How can you do this in your own way? Here is an exercise on this theme.

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