Natural Selection

January 31st, 2013

Yesterday I wrote about the great work Angel’s Lawn Service did sprucing up our shrubs and plants. The business lesson of that tale is the importance of taking a look at your organization with fresh eyes – and there is no better time than the beginning of spring, which comes to Houston far earlier than most of the country… much of which is currently in a deep freeze.

Angel’s crew left two of our pieces of greenery untouched at my instructions. One is the Knockout Roses in the backyard. I always cut those back on Valentine’s Day (because it’s easy to remember) and they grow and bloom throughout the year. The other is the evergreen vines that cover a trellis outside our kitchen window.

These are über vines. During growing season I trim them twice a month… as it seems they add two inches a night. A few weeks ago we were standing at the sink and I told my wife it looks like someone took a machete and hacked away at the top. Suddenly, a squirrel poked its head out and we realized she had chewed through to clear space for a nest behind the wood.

Now the cut vines are turning brown and dropping leaves. I realize the wise thing to do would be to clear the nest. (Assuming, of course, I don’t get bitten in the process.) However, I decided to let nature take its course, so sometime in the next 45 days we’ll have squirrel babies… each, one inch and one ounce. After a few months they’ll venture out on their own and play many games of chase in our trees this summer.

So, what’s this business lesson? Simple. Sometimes it’s best to leave things alone. Being a change agent doesn’t mean you have to change everything.

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