to attempt to revive a moribund organization or part thereof through radical action, as in “Sales have been down for three quarters so we’d better shake the trees here”; conveys the sense of rousing individuals from their torpor and triggering frantic, surprised activity that is nonetheless appropriate given the urgency of a situation; suggests that the intended targets are analogous to a flock of birds nestled high in the foliage and unconcerned with realities on the ground; an alternate, less common meaning is to attempt to gain quick benefit through some simple action, as if dislodging fruit already on the verge on falling

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