It was the beginning of the summer and the bushes started to grow very quickly. At first, they were just sprouting in all directions which created a messy disorganized very natural appearance. A few weeks passed and they started to get bigger and overtake some of the other flowers and plants in the garden. With limited knowledge and good intention, I went out to trim a few of the long-reaching branches back toward the base. My efforts amounted in little to no difference in the overall size and appearance of the bushes.
We decided to get some help and called for a company to help trim the bushes and clean up some of the beds we have near the house. We figured that it would be better to get an expert do the work.
A few weeks later, a small group of guys came to the house, cleared the beds, hacked and slashed the bushes in addition to other flowering plants, and trees. They essentially killed everything. I don’t believe it was intentional but that’s what happened. Not long after, weeds and vines started to grow on what was left of the dead bushes. Now, we have to manage the vines.
This morning, I went out to pull some vines and weeds. It made me realize the natural balance that existed between the bushes, the bed, the house, the vines and us. The easy answer for us was to outsource the work and get help. The problem with this is that no matter how many ratings or recommendations we had from others, there was no real investment in our relationship with the people we hired. They came in to do a job and they did it. They made money with immediate benefit to both parties but the long-standing tail of consequences and burden rests with me. There is no real remedy from the small business at this point. The only thing we can do is start over. Starting over isn’t easy either, we need to clear the beds and pull the dead material out, clean everything up, plant, weed and nurture whatever we grow.
My realization, we do the same thing at work these days.
Companies have to make tough decisions. Increase productivity, product, and revenue while lowering operational cost, overhead, and burden. There is work to be done. The bushes are growing and they need to be managed. As they realize the bushes need to be trimmed and the beds need work, they have to reduce and transform the workforce.
If the overall company is represented by the house itself, it may seem the bushes and beds are fairly trivial. Initially, they may try to handle the work with the remaining workforce after cuts. This equates to me going out with limited knowledge on trimming the bushes. My efforts didn’t produce the desired results and I didn’t make time to study or learn what to do properly because I had other things I was concerned with over the bushes.
The work must be done because nature is always at work.
Once the company has a realization of the need they outsource work to companies who have no reason to feel or invest in the company. The lower-cost model makes sense and the real-time short term benefits are prevalent.
The consultants and contractors come to do the work. The army appears in a day, they clean the beds, they hack, slash and do the labor. They trim the bushes and bring their expertise to talk about bush strategies and target bed architectures. Then the expert and the army of contractors dissipates leaving a few people available through the phone. On the other end of the phone, will be people who don’t care about the company, its mission, values, and motivation. They are there to answer the question specifically asked when calls are made. I wonder, “Why are my bushes dying, could you please help”? The answer, to my question, is a question. “When sir, did your bushes grow properly? What kind of bush do you have and where are these bushes that you ask and speak of”?
There is no interest in really solving the problem but it makes sense that the disconnected person on the end of the line wouldn’t really care much beyond whether or not the call itself was successful. This may mean, getting me off the phone quickly because time on the phone is money.
It is what it is and we must deal with it.
The real problem is the unintended consequences.
- Bushes are dead
- Vines and weeds are taking root and causing havoc.
- Beds require major (transformation effort).
What did the company save? What did it lose? At this point, maybe they don’t need bushes? If they do, it will cost more in the long run because it now becomes a cycle. At least, in this case, there isn’t a “bush and bed in a service” model where the bushes and repaired beds come from the cloud and are delivered as a viable service.
I believe there is a tipping point. For me, I’ll be spending time learning about how to repair the damage and invest myself to the extent that I want this resolved.
As for companies, I don’t think they see the bushes or the beds. I think they may catch a glance in passing but they don’t examine what is actually happening. In reality, nature will win. That is the truth. They just may wind up with a lot of dead bushes, vines, and weeds.
What do you think?