Often when we thinking about growing an organization we think primarily about adding more things. We think about adding more members, increasing our resources, adding content, and more. All of these great plans come with the hopes that these additions will make an organization stronger. We often have the mindset “maybe if someone gets more training, that person will be a better performer“.
Growth in Pruning? However, if we follow a plant analogy, often the best growth comes from pruning branches that are going astray from the core. Many times simply by thinning out fruit, we are able to make the larger product be more successful and increase.
When I purchased a house for the first time in Pacifica, California, there was a plum tree that had been there for years that the previous owners had neglected. I noticed the first year I had taken care of the tree, that I needed to remove some branches as they had already started dying. After clipping them and applying tar to protect the tree from disease, the trunk and remaining branches grew stronger. This little bit of pruning was needed so that the tree no longer needed to support branches that were dying and taking away valuable nutrients for other parts of the tree.
The second year, I noticed that the plums were growing in small bunches, so I took a garbage can lid, and started thinning the plums by removing the smaller plums and leaving a few of the larger ones so they could develop better. Those remaining plums were some of the sweetest I’ve had!
As difficult as it is to make choices to cut out branches and thin out smaller plums, the end results were amazing. The tree became healthier and produced greater fruit. It was as if the tree was saying “thank you for removing the extra things that were not serving me.”
Communication Powerhouse Tip: Take the Time to Re-evaluate. Sometimes in business, we need to do the same thing. This doesn’t necessarily mean we need to pare down staff to become a leaner organization. Sometimes that means re-evaluating the partnerships and customers you have.
- Ask Yourself: are these partnerships and customers truly serving your business’ mission and purpose ?
- Sometimes that means evaluating parts of your business and determining which parts have been a drain on resources but not providing you a good return.
Maybe it’s time to change your model and instead work toward building on the strong clients that will continue on the road with you.
How About You? Have you ever gone through a season in your business where it was time for “pruning”? Did you notice a positive outcome? I would love to read your comments below or or contact Naomi here.