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?

About the Author leadership dots by dr. beth triplett

I'm the chief connector at leadership dots where I serve as "the string" for individuals and organizations. Like stringing pearls together to make a necklace, "being the string" is an intentional way of thinking and behaving – making linkages between things that otherwise appear random or unconnected – whether that be supervising a staff, completing a dissertation or advancing a project in the workplace. I share daily leadership dots on my blog to provide examples of “the string” in action. I use the string philosophy through coaching, consulting and teaching to help others build capacity in themselves and their organizations. I craft analogies and metaphors that help people comprehend complex topics and understand their role in the system. My favorite work involves helping those new to supervision or newly promoted supervisors build confidence and learn the skills necessary to effectively lead their team.

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