What Can We Learn From Tomatoes?
Apologies for a late email today. Yesterday was my 32nd wedding anniversary, so my head was in a different space.
Yesterday I left you with this question:
What’s the purpose behind other core functions or structures [in your organization]?
I hope you thought about this. Many structures develop for reasons that aren’t related to the organization’s purpose.
Organizations are in a constant state of evolution, and often times change happens without strong influence from the purpose.
Perhaps the organization (or subunit) ends the year with some extra money that needs to be spent and someone had just been to another site where they were doing open offices, so it sounds like a great idea to spend the “extra” money on reconfiguring the offices.
The arrangement of workspaces is a fundamental structure, so this random decision has significant importance. The purpose was just to spend some money, but the impact on the organization could be huge.
A similar thing is happening in my garden. We have about 100 volunteer tomato plants coming up. We are now creating a new garden plot to house them all. Do we really need 100 tomatoes? No, but it doesn’t seem right to just throw them away.
This new plot increases our garden by about 20%, so it is significant. We have changed the structure of our garden, added extra work for our people (which is Pam and I), and are dedicating resources of time and money (tomato cages and neem oil) for tomatoes that we didn’t plan for and don’t really need.
The challenge is first in recognizing these purposeless features and then in getting rid of them.
Any one up for homemade spaghetti sauce?
Do good and be well,
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