Cutting Your Way to Success

Cutting Your Way to Success

Also posted online at, July 18, 2015

I get it. I have a family budget. I owned my own company for a dozen years. I understand and fully support the truism that there are times when you have to cut back. If not enough money is coming in, something has to give, and reducing spending is a viable and, often, best option. We are on the same page here. Despite what you may think, I am at heart a fiscal conservative.

However, there are also times for planning, for managing, for investing. Continuous cutbacks will not lead to growth. Focusing only on numbers will not lead to innovation. And certainly lopping off important parts will not lead to health.

I didn’t bother labeling anybody in the cartoon on purpose — it’s an allegory for really any entity trying to cut its way to success: government, business, nonprofit, union, whatever. The doctor looks like Sen. Arlan Meekhof because the senator tends to proclaim his love for smaller government (instead of effective government), and I don’t think one always leads to the other. (Plus, Meekhof is fun to draw.) But it could have been Gov. Rick Snyder and the Aramark debacle. Or Tim Leuliette, CEO at Visteon Corp., who managed in less than a year to acquire a healthy and profitable electronics division of Johnson Controls Inc. in Holland and drive it into the ground during an automotive market boom time.

In any case, it’s not the decapitation that is so unsettling; it’s how pleased the decapitator seems to be about it.

Leave a Comment