These last few weeks my world seems to be about pruning. Spring is here and the flowers are up so gardening is all around me. While not a gardener, I do enjoy the shows on gardening. Well, on a recent show I learned something about pruning. When I buy those beautiful plants that have all the blooms and repot them at home, I must prune off – CUT – those great blooms. But that is why I bought the plant!! Well, the plant must use its energy to reestablish its roots, and if the blooms are taking that energy it hurts the plant in the long run. Fair enough.
Then there are the readings from church this Sunday. “Jesus said to his disciples: “I am the true vine, and my Father is the vine grower. He takes away every branch in me that does not bear fruit, and every one that does he prunes so that it bears more fruit.” More indication that pruning, while painful and making the plant look pitiful is vital to helping a plant bear more fruit.
Today I went out and pruned some rose bushes. One I cut almost to the ground. The black spots on the stem seemed to say, “Take me off! I am pulling energy from this plant.” Boy the plants sure look pitiful. The roses are in a vase in the house. I hope more come. I trust they will. But today these plants look pitiful!
It is like that in business as well. Sometimes, you have a part of your business that is producing great results. The bloom is so beautiful! But, when you look at the “stem” of the organization, you see weakness or disease. You know you need to cut that part of the management-style and culture out. The change is to cut that stem, certainly damaging the blooming results. Yet, it must be done. You have to trust the resulting organization will be stronger. You have to trust the future results will be better than you hoped. To do it, you have to prune.
Do you need to prune your business?
• A manager who is toxic, getting results through fear, intimidation or other negative means
• An element of your business, that while bringing in money is not truly aligned with the core strategy or strength of the business
• A team whose results may give to the bottom line, but whose egos are out of alignment
I am thinking about my own business goals. I am pruning this summer to determine what roots I need to establish so that my business can grow. Maybe you need to do the same.
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