When it comes to gardening, my wife and I have clearly defined – if never formally stated – roles.

My wife focuses on growing things. She plants seeds, develops seedlings, plants out new shrubs, flowers, fruits and vegetables, buys new plants and moves things around the garden.

I, on the other hand, focus on cutting things. I mow the lawn and do the weeding and pruning. At the moment, pruning is the big job and I’ve recently been enthusiastically, yet inexpertly, pruning the roses, clematis and wisteria (the buddleia and verbena are still on the to-do list).

The critical point, though, is that if you don’t do the cutting jobs, the growth of your plants is restricted. Mowing the lawn promotes healthier grass. Weeding gives your chosen plants more space and nutrients to grow. And effective pruning reinvigorates your plants, preventing and reducing disease and decay and facilitating better, more abundant flower and fruit growth.

Businesses are the same. Alongside new growth initiatives and acquisitions, you must also selectively prune old, decaying and unproductive activities. If you don’t, these areas will simply act as a drag on performance, taking up the time of your managers and other scarce resources which could be used much more usefully elsewhere.

Where do you need to selectively prune and cut areas of your business, so that it can grow better, faster and more profitably?

Off The Record: Good Year For The Roses by Elvis Costello

What a good year for the roses

Many blooms still linger there

The lawn could stand another mowing

Funny, I don’t even care

As you turn to walk away

As the door behind you closes

The only thing I have to say

It’s been a good year for the roses

Written by Jerry Chestnut