Friday, January 16, 2015

Let Things Die!

In principle, groups can spend a lot of time and energy keeping ideas and projects artificially alive. We are all familiar with the agenda item that keeps coming up over and over again but that no one seems to have energy for; or the committee for which energy is fading, attendance is waning, and discussion becomes mostly about process rather than substance. Putting energy into dying things distracts attention from helping other things grow.

That things die is okay. The wonderful thing about dying is that it leads to new life. When things die, the energy goes to other places. Letting things die fertilizes new creativity.

Practical Tip: Make deliberate decisions about what you want to help grow and what you want to let die. Chasing instincts to save everything is inefficient. If a committee or project of your group is dying and it is not something that you care about or have optimism around, don't put energy into keeping it alive.
Plan for dying. Create committees with sunset provisions that require them to die automatically if no one moves to save them, rather than that they live automatically if no one moves to kill them.

When dying things bring sadness, that's okay too. Work to turn those emotions into new resolve for growth and creation of new things. - Craig Freshley

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