Trimming back as the key to improvement

Living in Southern California and having an orange tree in your yard isn’t that big of a deal. We waited years for the first fruit to appear, and when it did, we knew immediately we had a problem. The branches on a small tree couldn’t hold the heavy, green oranges. It was about to split at the trunk.

A week ago we wrote about pursuing anything and everything. That’s absolutely true and hasn’t changed. But at some point you have to narrow down to the things that have the highest likelihood of succeeding and run with it. You have to make the tough choices.

If we just waited another few weeks for the oranges to mature we would have lost the part of the tree that was too heavy to support its fruit. It was tempting but we made a tough choice to trim back, even if it meant losing the fruit that didn’t have time to ripen. We knew the risk of waiting was greater. We made the call.

Sometimes trimming back is the most important part of moving forward. The management trick is to know what and when.

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Categories: Human Resources, Workplace Reality

Author:Jeanne Roué-Taylor

I'm fascinated by disruptive technology and its impact on our world. I manage sales operations for an excellent startup with a unique team of highly experienced data scientists.

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One Comment on “Trimming back as the key to improvement”

  1. August 31, 2012 at 5:53 pm #

    Our gardiner came today and saw the oranges on the branches that we cut from the tree. He said, “If you waited a few weeks, they would have been ready.” I said, “If we waited a few weeks, the tree was going to break.” He said, “Yes, probably.”

    So I asked him why he didn’t just trim it. He said, “I didn’t think it was my decision to make.” It just reminded me how applicable this is to business.

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