upstart thoughts on talent and leadership

Spring Pruning: Less May Result In More

In ! Jen, Change on Monday, April 5, 2010 at 12:12 am

I just came across this column with an elegant recommendation to see things differently. Some nice takeaways:

Every enterprise, business or nonbusiness, must constantly abandon the obsolete and the unproductive. Every organization is likely to be loaded down with yesterday’s promises. These include activities and programs that no longer contribute; the ventures that looked so enticing when started, but now, five years later, are still unproductive.

The best therapy for any organization from the point of view of performance is to purge itself of mediocrities. Systematic sloughing off of yesterday frees energies and resources. It makes available the people and funds required for new things.

An organization, whatever its objectives, must therefore be able to get rid of yesterday’s tasks and thus free its energies and resources for new and more productive tasks.

This could apply to so, so many things. Not as easy as it sounds, of course. For those who garden, you know how terrifying it was that first time to prune back say, rosebush branches. Will this really work? I’ve just spent a whole season sprinkling expensive bone meal and rose food and now I’m slicing back on the growth? But sure enough, you’re rewarded with bigger blooms.

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