If you let them, professional weeds stifle the quality of workplace productivity and client outcomes.
This year, in Ann Arbor, Michigan, the climate is absolutely perfect for growing gargantuan weeds! I am talking about nettles which start out small and grow 4-5 feet tall over a two week time period. You read that right, friends. Every 2 weeks. Nettles on steroids.
Needless to say, weeding the garden becomes a real chore. If untouched, those plants strangle the shrubs I have taken time to cultivate. Right now, I’m trying to restore an entire section of the garden back to health.
Which got me to thinking, as I did battle with the nasty plants this past weekend.
All of us have more than a few professional weeds to address when executing strategy.
Professional weeds stifle – if not sabotage – individual and team momentum. We have clients or even colleagues we avoid, because they are difficult. So, we put off dealing with them, as long as possible. By the time we meet with them, they are even more difficult to deal with. The issues which start off small have now grown, like those nettles, into gargantuan customer experience problems. No matter how trivial or unimportant we think these issues are.
- Most of us are not dealing with just one professional weed, either.
- We have several clients which we would love to not have to deal with anymore.
- Or, we work with colleagues who constantly underperform, requiring us to pick up their slack and overperform.
- Then again, there are overly complex processes which only a few people know how to do correctly. And these individuals closely guard the keys to their process success, instead of collaborating and sharing them throughout the workplace.
Become accountable for rooting out professional weeds which take over our workplaces.
Needless to say, I was completely surprised at how quickly those nettles overran one particular area of my garden. I thought I could let things slide for another week or so. However, the plants rapidly grew from small problems into huge garden problems. Then, they spread into other parts of the garden, as their oil destroyed the leaves on those shrubs.
Similarly, lots of small workplace inconsistencies and issues, left unaddressed or ignored, grow into a garden full of huge problems. These issues add up, often in short order. Ultimately, workplace weeds impede delivery of extraordinary customer experiences, impacting customer success and customer retention.
If everyone decides it is “not their job” to weed out the people and processes which stifle productivity, then clients will not wait around for organizations to deal with professional weeds. Instead, clients will defect, to grow in better-tended organizational gardens.
What are the professional weeds in your organization?
When dealing with actual gardens of nettles, or allegorical ones in the workplace, consistency of attention is the point. If we choose to ignore toxic processes, practices, colleagues and clients, our workplaces are not able to thrive, productively and profitably.
Are professional weeds taking over your client base? Your professional development strategy? Workplace productivity? What are your next steps for weeding things out?
Start moving one millimeter forward, today.
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Babette Ten Haken delivers her One Millimeter Mindset™ keynotes, breakout sessions and workshops to help individuals, teams, organizations and associations leverage productive and profitable collaboration to catalyze professional innovation, workforce engagement and customer retention. Babette Ten Haken serves organizations as an inspiring speaker, strategist, coach and storyteller. She is a STEM-trained scientist, corporate catalyst and design thinker. Babette’s playbook of collaboration tools, Do YOU Mean Business?, is available on Amazon. She is a member of SME, ASQ, SHRM and the National Speakers Association.
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