There were a row of plants by the side of the road leading to my office. The purpose of these plants was to show off their green leaves and colorful flowers, giving relief to the eyes from the drab concrete buildings and roads.
As an experiment I told my people in the civil maintenance department who were maintaining the plants, to prune only one these plants drastically, leaving only a foot of the trunk from the ground. This was done promptly. I was worried whether I destroyed the plant and created a bigger eye sore. I watched them eagerly every day for the results of the experiment.
After about 2 weeks, small green shoots were coming out of the trunk. I was relieved that at least the plant was not dead. Every day the number of vigorously growing shoots increased dramatically. In a few weeks there were hundreds of fast growing shoots. In about 3 months, hundreds of shoots with fresh green tender leaves had grown 3 feet high. This born-again plant was a feast for the eyes.
We repeated the process with all the other plants with similar happy results. This dramatic and unexpected transformation of an otherwise totally lifeless plants set me thinking …
Those plants were looking lifeless and as good as dead. I was in half mind to uproot them and plant new ones in their place. They looked as though they had no energy to grow new branches and leaves. But then what happened after the drastic pruning?
A giant dormant power was unleashed when the plant was pruned drastically. That power was so big and readily available that it could quickly initiate hundreds of new shoots and sustain their vigorous growth to several feet. The plant did not need any extra inputs for it’s rebirth – no extra water, fertilizer, insecticide or attention. It had all it’s requirements in abundance.
Could this phenomena be true for individuals, teams or whole organizations? Can the drastic stoppage of the routine, ritualistic, dull and meaningless activities unleash giant dormant powers in them? Could it be that their lifeless performance is due to blocking of their powerful energies by life killing activities? Can getting rid of these responsibilities and activities unleash the hidden giant powers and give birth to lively new activities, like those seen in the born-again plants? This great transformation may be possible without giving them any additional rewards!