Weeds and Stragglers

I have a small flower garden outside of my office window. The purpose of it is clear: to give me and my team something beautiful to look at as we come and go from the office and while we are working.

Typically, I do all the planting, mulching, and weeding myself. Unfortunately, several weeks ago I ran into poison ivy, and I am quite allergic. Therefore, I found a landscaper, Wills, to do the job, and of course I planned to provide full disclosure of the poison ivy. When I started to tell Wills about the venomous vine, he dismissed me saying, “I couldn’t do my job if I didn’t recognize it and know how to contain it.” The point was well taken, and I quit giving directions.

We agreed on a date when I would be available, but it rained, and so we had to reschedule to a day when I was away with clients. Wills came and “cleaned up the garden,” but due to my work schedule, it was several days before I could see his work. I was so surprised! He had cleaned out so much! The garden looked completely different with fewer flowers and shrubs.

I didn’t think I liked that so many of my seedlings were gone, but nevertheless, they were gone. When Wills came to pick up his check, he expected me to be thrilled. When I said, “You really took out a lot. I actually liked the smaller plants you took out.”
Wills said, “Do you think the garden looks better overall?” I had to admit that it did. Then he said, “Mrs. Snyder, you aren’t a nursery. You are one person who wants a pretty garden, right?” I had to agree with him on that as well.

Furthermore, he added, “I want it to look nice in the spring. I had to remove some of the plants to make room for the others that are trying to grow.”  
Hmmm, I thought as I peered out my office window. I wonder how many organizations use Wills’ philosophy?

Does your organization take a step back and look at the big picture periodically, in order to make changes and get where you want to be next quarter, next year, or even after that? Additionally, there are assessments that can help with these appraisals. Let me know if I can recommend some to you for your organization. Taking a long look always brings insights.  

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