One of my CEOs recently mentioned that the recession is forcing him to rethink all aspects of his business, including how many employees it takes to do a job. (Six people to change a light bulb?)
He remarked that he is in the business of clearing out the deadwood and is glad for the excuse to do so.
It reminded me of my tour of Yellowstone National Park some years ago. It was a year or two after a major fire. I remarked about the devastation the fire created. My tour guide pointed to the new growth and replied, “Clearing the deadwood makes way for new growth.”
So, now that we have to do more with less, tighten up, look at all the processes we probably use by default, it is a good time to review process, procedures and need for personnel.
Instead of looking at how you can increase your budget, increase the number of people you supervise so you can get your raise, increase the time it takes to complete a project – look at simplifying, reducing, becoming more efficient and effective.
You might just save your company from failure and yourself from losing your job.
Now is the time to trim – to get rid of the deadwood and allow new growth – new ideas – new creativity in process – to emerge.
2 thoughts on “Clearing the Underbrush”
Good points. Another opportunity here is to ensure you are leveraging the skills of top people to create the most value.
On a bell curve with “dead wood” at one end and stars at the other end, it’s important to look at both extremes and the majority in the middle.
During lean times, I see many companies only focusing on the dead wood, which I think is a mistake.
Great point. Too often management success is measured by headcount rather than how profitable your team, department or company is.