In most blooming gardens and businesses “deadheading” is necessary to make sure that the blooms continue. In my gardens, I have a lot of Knockout Roses. The first blooms of the season are stupendous, a brilliant show of color. Then they fade and look me in the face tired, ready to go to seed, ending the cycle of their usefulness. Behind them on new growth shoots, new buds will turn in to blooms but there is no way that they have their day unless I deadhead the old. Deadheading never kills the plant, always promoting new growth and blooms.
The same is true in my business garden, unless I keep the stream of activities, people and ideas fresh, only the old will remain.
So how do you deadhead a business? In some ways it is very similar, you have to continuously promote new growth and blooming, having given due appreciation to the old but making sure that what is already tired and spent is not the face of your company. Those ready to go to seed must be planted separately if you want it them grow and eventually bloom.
- People – Almost everyone has new growth within them just waiting to be given a moment in the sunshine but if recognition, reward, leadership and motivation systems do not make sure these have a chance, you will not experience the excitement that new growth can bring. Those who are truly spent need an exit strategy that allows their seed to be planted and grow anew.
- Activities – Change things up. Yes there are some things that need to be done as a part of a process, but putting a new twist or emphasis can make the process new again. It may be a new person in the mix, a shortcut or even a celebration of things that are right but otherwise unnoticed.
- Ideas – Ideas are the blooms of business that inspire and are admired. It is also innovation through ideas put to work that take companies to the next level. New ideas are often the buds that are hidden behind the faded flowers. They are ready for the chance to bloom. If you do not deadhead the old, you never fully enjoy the show.
Deadheading is not a perfect art or science, but it is a necessity. It is rare, but, especially if I am hurried or tired, I sometimes accidently take new buds with the old flowers. It is also not without risk and challenge. It is rare that I emerge from a session of deadheading without some scrapes as I always encounter some stubborn thorns in the path. Regardless of which garden I am tending, flowers, my business or the business of a client, when the deadheading session is over there is a whole new look that is fresh, worthy of appreciation and most of all showing the next set of fresh buds ready to bloom.