Cutting away Dead Vines
This past weekend I spent a few hours cutting down blackberry vines and ivy. Before I started the yard work, everything looked green and springlike. The trees poking out of the overgrown ivy looked green and full of live.
After I did a few test cuts into the ivy and blackberry vines; it soon became apparent that underneath the ivy was a completely different story. The trees were dead under the ivy, huge roots had grown, and I even found a garden hose buried under the ivy.
It was completely not what I was expecting to find when I set out to chop out some blackberry vines that had grown out of control.
The brownness, sea of green and the hidden garden tools reminded me of a few business issues that I had been brought up to solve.
Black Berry Vines Growing out of Control. Sometimes there is only the symptom of a problem that might need to be taken control of. It’s something that is obvious, but maybe put off for another day to solve. In business, this might a computer system or net work that keeps dying at regular intervals. Regular crashes don’t tell you what exactly is wrong, but you are pretty sure it’s not a good sign. Solution? You should get in touch with a good IT person before it dies, not after. Check your backup process to make sure it’s in good shape. Fix the problem before it takes over your system.
Dead Brown Trees: Under the Ivy and other vines, the trees had stopped focusing on the buried branches. Has your business focused entirely on the green parts of the it? Is it ignoring the accounts payable process? A strange and convoluted ordering process? An inventory warehouse that makes no sense? Is there something buried which would benefit from a fresh light?
Retaining Walls: There was a retaining wall under the ivy that I didn’t know about. It was in good shape and sturdy, but the vines were growing their roots so much through it, it could very well be a future problem. Is there a problem that is currently under control, but some maintenance is needed to trim the problem back? Perhaps the retail location could use a facelift? Or maybe the product pricing is out of date? Is there a basic foundation business unit that has been successfully operating for a while now, but could use some retooling?
Beauty Bark: The ivy had also grown over an alcove in the retaining wall with at least 5 bags of unused beauty bark. I haven’t finished digging them out yet, there maybe more. Has your business been wasting resources? Are there enough office supplies to last 10 years? Stockpiling too much inventory? Or maybe as simple renting too much office space?
Take a minute to think about the hidden issues in your business. It might pay off in the long run.
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