The very early signs of Spring are in the air and in this issue of Reflections I wanted to use the garden as a metaphor to explore setting up the conditions for growth, creativity and innovation at work.
Gardens are complex ecosystems that need tending and care to keep them looking at their best. There are many shapes, sizes and styles of gardens and each need tailored care to their own specific needs. Keeping the garden healthy, flourishing and in tune with the wider environment needs constant attention-some more so than others.
On a personal level we can relate this garden analogy to how we approach our work and as Leaders how we set the right culture for our organisation and our teams. Is your work all about getting the weedkiller out or is it about adding some fertiliser and creating opportunities for growth? Perhaps take a moment to reflect on your to do list, your goals and strategy- does it have a built in negativity bias? Solve this problem, that problem, damage limitation, cost containment etc What about the working towards some new opportunities, some innovation and creativity? Where does that fit?
The challenge for us at work is if our to-do lists are all about solving problems and getting the weedkiller out- this doesn't mean to say that we are setting up the right conditions to flourish and grow, we may just end up a bit scorched! What we will have done is a really good job of getting rid of the weeds, but that doesn't mean that we have created a flourishing garden!