Tuesday, 4 August 2015

Working with people is like gardening!

Today I was answering a colleague about how long I'd stay in one organisation to make a positive difference, why I'm keen on measuring (eg ROI), and why I don't like just like to 'launch and run'. It reminded me that I used to describe myself as a 'gardener'. Now, I'm no gardener but getting people through change, and a whole range of people practices, is often a bit like being one.

Here's why...
First: You have to pick the right place, time and product - don't prepare an area in the shade to place your sunflower!
Next: Prepare the soil - and yes, this might mean digging up the weeds (old ideas)
Then: Plant the seeds (be they ideas or ambassadors)
Next: Water them - in other words, even when it looks like nothing is happening you still have to keep taking action
And even when they're grown, the work continues - even roses need pruning!
Finally: Share - that doesn't mean cutting them but you could invite people to your garden or send them pictures.

In all this, let 'nature' do it's thing - other people's nature will impact things like energy and pace, but remember that you still need to take action.
If you don't do your bit, nature may give you weeds!

Positive change (eg progress, new skills, improved performance) may not bloom immediately. There may be issues along the way - gardening is hard work, but the rewards are there to see.

The same analogy works for recruitment, developing people, having challenging conversations and more.

And don't tell me that you don't do flowers - you could always plant a vegetable garden instead!

Thanks for reading and I look forward to hearing your views,

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