Growing up in the Chicagoland area, fall was a great a season because it meant harvest time. It started with helping Mom out in her garden, where I learned about annuals, perennials, and vegetable gardening. She took great discipline and care with her garden, and our hours together in the yard was a time for her to share the principles upon which she built her life. This was the beginning of my understanding that success is a journey of which harvesting is a small part. As a young girl, I did not look forward to what I saw as the hard part of planting flowers and vegetables, cultivation. This meant digging up the ground, pulling out weeds, pulverizing the ground, spreading fertilizer, spacing and planting seeds or seedlings, followed by days and days of watering and weeding. I was interested in picking flowers and eating fruits and vegetables. I later came to appreciate all the steps leading up to harvest time.
Every year when fall arrives, my gardening memories take me back to the importance of cultivation. It anchors me to a fundamental principle; our harvest is in direct correlation to what we plant. Business results lead us to examine not only what we have planted, but to explore our methods of cultivation.
- Build on a new foundation. (Digging up the ground) Get to the bottom of where you are heading, what needs to change, and what customers and stakeholders are saying.
- Make necessary changes before trying to add something new. (Pulling out weeds) Take the time to discover what may be getting in the way of success.
- Expect superior results through engaged commitment. (Pulverizing the ground) Commit the energy, time and money to prepare for the current environment or new direction.
- Enjoy a successful business by arming people with tools, resources and a robust culture. (Spreading the fertilizer) Invest capital and attention in developing people and providing all the ingredients necessary to support intended outcomes.
- Activate attention to detail as an indispensable part of effective execution. (Spacing and planting the seed) Discipline and conscious authenticity are critical in implementing the key components of a business plan.
- Embrace the care and feeding of your business and its people. (Watering and weeding) What we give our attention to grows. Once you have taken the steps above, it is important to nurture what you have planted.
This harvest season is an occasion to focus on our plans for the future. Although rewarding, a harvest’s true value lies in gaining insight into what can be planted for the years ahead and how we commit to cultivate our plans and actions.
Strategy & Planning: Harvesting for Success: 6 Key Steps ©Change Create Transform 2015