Ep170: The Art of Pruning for Growth...

28 minutes

A tomato failing to ripen because it is stuck in a bramble of unpruned branches doesn’t sound like it would be an analogy that would relate to business as a whole, but it really does. 

Why is that important for business? 

There is so much valuable in narrowing down variables of what a plant – or a business – needs. Especially when things get complicated. But one of the things we must confront in both is the necessity of pruning. 

This meme about being an inch away from striking gold is the opposite of pruning. The gold might not be there at all, or it might be very far away, and if you follow every path that you think might lead to gold without pruning, you will exhaust yourself. 

There is an art to pruning – knowing when and where to make a decision to cut. We need to notice where there is overgrowth or pay attention not what is too much, and notice where pruning would be beneficial. Where are you getting exhausted mining for gold and when do you pull back? This meme only prioritizes getting to the gold, and doesn’t factor in the health or happiness of the person with the pickaxe. Even if you are only three whacks away from gold, those three whacks might not be worth it. 

We think of pruning as cutting back, or stunting growth in a certain direction. But what it really is is a refocusing of energy and resources to the places we most want them. Like the art of bonsai sculpting, this is about shaping the tree to the vision we have, regardless of where the limbs want to go. This is about pruning as a net gain rather than a net loss. 

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Start listening to Ep 226: Organizational Depressive State
Start listening to Ep 226: Organizational Depressive State