During a recent EOS® Quarterly session check-in, one of my clients who grew up in farm country commented on current affairs. “These times remind me when farmers burn their fields. You do that to get them healthy, right? It’s tough right now, but it always comes back stronger.”
Unfamiliar with this practice, I Googled it. Farmers burn their fields to remove unwanted plants that are growing, and to help plants about to come up. These are called “prescribed burns.” Done with precision, care and under perfect conditions, they improve the health of the field,
Who would have thought that cornfields and business had so much in common?
Recent times have inflicted an “un-prescribed burn” on business in general. Those with an operating system had tools to pivot – to contract, stabilize and even scale up to meet surging demand. There was a framework in place which offered a capacity to respond quickly to an outside, un-anticipated event.
Some let the pandemic do the hard work for them. The forced contraction became the excuse to layoff poor performers and those not fitting company culture. Thereby solving long overdue "people issues." Other companies realized they could function well virtually. The decision to permanently abandon traditional office space has dramatically impacted their overhead.
When business normalizes, these companies will be stronger because they were forced to take these actions. Will they have the fortitude to take a prescriptive approach in better times? Burning feels so destructive in the moment.
In these past few months, I've gone to a favorite quote,
“In the middle of anything feels like chaos.”
Things will be different a year from now. It's an opportune time to think with precision and care about greener fields.
In my role as a Certified EOS Implementer®, I help companies run more effectively using EOS®: A proven, comprehensive set of tools that help business owners and their leadership teams develop a shared vision, get traction, and grow team health. If your company needs a stronger path forward, let's talk.
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