Yesterday I wrote about Money Smart Week and shared a picture of the bag of shredded currency I received. It got me thinking about shredding, and how elimination is part of the organizational life cycle.

The Federal Reserve Bank shreds about $23 million every business day, and that is just in Chicago. Dollar bills wear out in about 21 months, and the $5 bill wears out in about 16 months, so the Fed is continually shredding currency in addition to issuing new bills. 

In organizations, there is often a focus on what needs to be added, but Money Smart Week gives us an occasion to pause and consider what needs to be removed. What habits do you have that you should “shred?” What policies are in your organization that need to be reissued with a new look? Have you evaluated what you offer and thought of updating it, just as the Fed does with counterfeit-prevention measures?

Shredding isn’t just to get rid of confidential materials. It’s a declaration of permanence that we are done with this item and are moving on: no storing it only to revisit it at a later date; no ambivalence about whether it will be useful again “someday.” Take the bold step to be like the Feds and create a process that routinely evaluates and shreds what is worn out in your organization.

— beth triplett

Source: Money Smart Week materials: Why Does the Fed Shred? and Did You Know?

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