The Pruning Effects

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Rhododendron is a fairly hardy plant. Under the right conditions, it grows and blossoms without much care. The plant does require pruning to keep it from becoming too ‘bushy.’ As an amateur gardener, I learned a few things from pruning.

Instant Gratification
With a pair of scissors in hand, I took 6 inches all around the plant. At a distance, the size and shape looked decent. However, a closer look showed a messy mix of cut leaves, spent flowers, and dead wood. The random shave took less than 20 minutes and little thinking.

In a similar vein, taking rash actions in a business to fix a problem bring quick relief. The fast treatment pleases those impacted. However, it doesn’t mean that the issue is well taken care of in the long run. The loose ends leave room for uncontrolled activities.

Selective De-cluttering
To clear the clusters of spiky green and brown stems, I started to single out obvious crowded branches. It wasn’t as easy as I thought. The leggy growth spurred by prior random pruning led to many localized clusters. To do a proper job, I needed to examine the surrounding clusters and look for a weak branch to snip. There were so many. It seemed that after taking one out, there was another right next to it that I should cut also. After 15 minutes, the de-cluttering didn’t seem to work as quickly as I had hoped for.

In business, the maze of interdepartmental policies and handoffs leads to complex operations. In order to eliminate bottlenecks, you need to identify the sources of problems. It is like peeling an onion. It takes more time and patience to sift through the layers of departmental operandi. Improvements result when the bottlenecks are removed.

Grass root Improvement
After tracing through some of the intertwined branches and determining which odd branches to remove, I came to a conclusion that several big, grown out of control branches ought to be cut. Some of these branches were more than an inch in diameter. I needed a handsaw for these bigger shoots. For the shoots sprouted through between branches and were tangled, they required sawing at different spots. When all was done, I had a bonsai-looking rhododendron which I was proud of. The complete project took close to two hours.

Major overhauls of business consume a lot more resources. Special tools and expertise might be called for to make the proper adjustments. You need to ensure that the workings in different areas are properly synchronized. When done properly, you end up with a robust business.

Making changes for the better is like pruning a plant. Different tact produces different results. Instant results through quick changes might be satisfactory temporarily while fundamental changes could be necessary for sustaining results. What is important to note is that the impacts, relative costs and benefits must be considered. Effort and results go hand in hand.

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