Why is Pruning Important?

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There is a great DVD by Dr. Henry Cloud called Simplifying the Challenge (white board/red couch). In session 7, Dr. Cloud talks about the importance of pruning as a means for continued growth of any living organism (or organization). He uses the metaphor of a rose bush…

There are 3 types of roses to be pruned

1. There are more good buds produced than can be sustained or brought to “full vision.” Even though they are “good” they are not great and a skilled gardener knows which ones with potential for great beauty. The gardener will prune 80% just so the 20% can have more nutrients, resources, and energy directed towards their development. They are the ones that must reach “full vision.” (In an organization, these can be ideas, programs, products, strategies, or personnel.)

2. There are sick buds that (after you’ve done all you can to heal them and help them) it is clear are NOT going to get well. They need to be pruned.

3. Dead branches. These are often very quiet. We work around them. They take up space and need to be pruned.

Pruning can be painful. It can make you wince. There are often strong emotions and even people attached to various “good” ideas, programs, etc. Pruning is absolutely necessary if the rose bush is to realize its full beauty and purpose.

Pruning should not be a viewed as a negative response, but rather a regular, ongoing strategy.

What are the roses that you need to prune so that others can receive greater energy/resources that they might achieve “full vision?”

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