It’s too expensive to trash later

‘It’s too expensive to trash later’ –

says, Seth Godin in his book Linchpin where he illustrates Trashing as one of the roadblocks for not completing your targets or reason for not being able to ship. If you haven’t read this book I would encourage you to buy and read it here

Trashing is apparently the tweaking, be it small or large,  that we do to make a finished product.  Be it rewriting a blog, giving a redo and final touch to an art work or making changes to our presentation…In an extreme sense, doing a surgery to remove cancerous growth to save the life of a person is another way of trashing.

We all do trashing one way or the other. If you ask me I do rewrite my blogs every single time until I feel it is precise and complete. From an an HR point of view, Trashing happens when you interview to select the right candidate from a pool of applicants. so does Firing and Laying offs.

When do we trash?

Now the question is when do we trash! Should you be trashing in the early stages or wait till the end. How will it impact if you wait till the end to trash?

Seth says, if you don’t have the courage to trash in the beginning you all will be a victim of late trashing and the results are missed targets or failed projects.

If you are not brave enough to trash early or even get rid of resources which don’t make any sense in keeping, it can cost you huge.

How do we trash?

And it’s the same case for Manpower. There is no point in keeping an employee who doesn’t love their job, who doesn’t mesh with the organization culture, who doesn’t get the goals that organization stands for and who doesn’t want to be part of it. We all know that keeping them is not healthy for the organization!

Well, then how do we trash those poor fit employees. I am not going down the road of ‘Hire slow and Fire fast’. I would say hire smart and proactively hire for fit. Be very specific about who you want to bring in and what traits and attitude are you looking for in those who you want to work and collaborate with on a daily basis.

Firing/laying offs can negatively impact employee morale, trust in organization and in general creates a lot of ambiguity.  Why would you go down that path where you have to deal with termination related lawsuits, severance pay and what not! Obviously that’s why successful companies like Zappos and Amazon are paying their unhappy employees to quit. That is a win win offer for both unhappy employees and the organization. Less devoted employees can take a moment, and if they really don’t like to work at this organization, then take the offer to quit. For an organization it is a way to let their employees know that they are very serious about protecting the culture of the organization. And avoid the cost of keeping a disengaged employee, which is $450 billion to $550 billion for US as per Gallup.

Be brave to trash in the beginning, Let the interviewing be a tool for trashing where you should be upfront about who you want to hire.

I know every organization cannot be like Zappos and Amazon and cannot have a ‘Pay to quit’ offer in place for their unhappy employees. I am curious to know how do you do trashing at your organization! Leave a comment!


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