Parable of The Peach

This weekend my wife and I had to make a quick day trip to a meeting which was several hours away. Before leaving I gathered my sons and gave them a series of chores to complete for the day. These included mowing and trimming the lawn, weeding part of the garden, hauling off some branches and most importantly picking the ripe peaches from our overflowing peach tree. I gave the kids very specific instructions to throw away all bad peaches that had fallen on the grounds as a first step. The second step was to then gather all the peaches from the ground that had fallen but still had good flesh. Then the final step was to pick the lush ripe remaining peaches placing them carefully in a cooler I had prepared. With these instructions given, off we raced to our meeting.

In my mind there is nothing better for breakfast than a fresh peach hand picked and drowned in milk and sugar. I salivated on this image the entire trip down and back.

Upon returning the first thing I did was go and inspect the peach picking job. I was delighted to see neat well organized boxes and coolers and a tree well picked. I congratulated my sons and went to pick a few of the nice ripe grade A picked peaches. I was shocked that they all were smashed on one side or another. Every one of them was bruised. Confused, I thought I had the wrong box but upon inspection discovered that all the peaches were less than desirable.

A bit chagrin I went to my oldest son John and asked what had happened. He then explained to me that they had indeed thrown the bad peaches away, gathered the usable peaches, and began to pick the tree. They realized how time consuming this picking project was going to be and were eager to get back to their friends, so he came up with the brilliant idea to shake the tree really hard, then simply go gather up the newly fallen fruit.

My first reaction was horror, but I could not help but laugh as I thought about it.

So it is in our businesses efforts. There has been more than one time that I have outlined a plan to my team but failed to communicate the desired end result and the necessity for thinking regarding the business processes outlined. It is easy enough to outline the tasks at hand for our teams, it is quite enough to get them bought into that end vision or desired result.

Upon reflection, maybe I should have prepared a fresh bowl of nice peaches for each of my sons and discussed the project over breakfast as they experience in a very personal manner what we were striving for.