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“Dust off,” is a great analogy for the workplace. From time to time it’s good to wipe the dust off a project, a stagnant team, or a head-scratching project.

In baseball there’s an old saying about the pitcher throwing a “dust off,” pitch. The “dust-off,” is a pitch the pitcher throws when he feels the batter is crowding the plate. It’s usually thrown inside and “tight,” to so as if to brush dirt off the batter’s uniform and push them back from the plate. Every pitcher that pitches a “dust off,” pitch is trying to send a message to the batter. There are many famous incidences and videos of MLB pitchers throwing “dust off,” pitches in big games that resulted in bench clearings between both teams.

It’s spring and the yellow dust (pollen) is everywhere from cars, to driveways, work sites, golf courses, sidewalks and homes. The only thing that cuts down, or cures the dust is rain. However, it is always welcomed in the South during springtime. Yellow pools of water in parking lots after a rain means it’s less pollen we all have to breathe.

“Dust off,” is a great analogy for the workplace. From time to time it’s good to wipe the dust off a project, a stagnant team, or a head-scratching project. Over time dust tends to complicate things and keep us from performing at quality levels. When dust settles it creates a stagnant, laissez faire attitude about a project, client, or group task. Dust can become all too comfortable and before we know it a competitor passes us by.

What do you need to dust off on your project/to-do list right now? What have you been avoiding, procrastinating, or ignoring? If we’re not careful we will be covered in yellow dust and the competition will pass us by.

Meteorologists and physicians advise those working, or spending extended time in pollen season to shower as soon as they are home when pollen is high. Otherwise, we risk allergy trouble and potential sinus infections.

What do you need to clear from your list and make things happen? What are you avoiding and letting the dust settle that could let the competition sneak in and get the job, or the next bid?

All of us need to “shake the dust,” from time to time and get back into the flow of a healthy organization. You may need to push some people into action, or light a fire under a vendor/subcontractor to achieve results. Whatever it takes!

Shaking the dust is healthy and communicates that we don’t tolerate foolishness. Dust is a negative on any organization. It holds us back from success and bogs down healthy production. Examine your key people and projects. Ask what needs to be done? What hasn’t been done that should have been done and why? Ask why the client is frustrated? Get the input of your team and solicit their feedback on dust gathering on a specific project. What’s holding you and the team back from success? Is this an internal, or external problem? What are the options for the best outcome?

Dust can bog all of us down! How can you throw a “dust off,” pitch and clean things up?

Charlie Carter, WebSpeak Media

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