It is common to overlook roadblocks to execution and as a result, fail to optimize the people, processes, policies, finances, time, vendors, and strategies essential to excellent results. Thus, over time, more effort is expended to reap diminishing returns, untenable situations are tolerated, and obstacles to execution that should be removed are instead worked around.
Pruning means “to rid or clear of anything superfluous or undesirable” (Dictionary.com, n.d.). Think of pruning a bush and you should see the proactive possibilities pruning has to optimize organizations. However, unlike gardening, where the decision to remove a less-than-optimal entity is cut-and-dry (either remove it from the plant or let it remain), organizational pruning has three categories to more strategically optimize your people, processes, policies, finances, time, vendors, strategies, and more. Thus far the four primary execution disciplines of the master the art of execution (MAX) process have been sequential:
Pruning is the fifth discipline of execution and is slightly different in that it is an ongoing discipline in efficiency to proactively improve every aspect of your organization that affects execution. Think in terms of continual optimization and you are on your way to mastering the final step of the MAX process.
But first, however, I must warn you about a couple of necessary precautions: