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Our team at Peer Review share a wealth of experience and expertise in business here on our Insights blog. We hope you find these solutions and strategies useful tools for improving your business performance.

Plant Seeds, Not Trees

Driving around the countryside at this time of year, I like looking at the winter crops that are waiting in anticipation to be fed to hungry animals over the colder months. The size and quality of crops in different locations reveals a lot about seasonal variations between different locations. It also constantly amazes me to think these paddocks of large plants, particularly kale or fodder beet, only months ago were very small seeds. Isn’t it amazing what can come out of such a tiny particle in a relatively short space of time!

I try to create a seed bed and plant a seed when I am dealing with people also. The success of any seed that grows is heavily dependent on two key factors:

  1. Preparation, and

  2. Environment

Planting a tree

If you are thinking about planting a tree or shrub in the garden, you can be much less selective about the quality of ground that the tree goes into, if it is already six months old and you are just transplanting it. This is because the tree has largely developed and therefore doesn’t need to be cared for so much as it grows – the preparation is not so critical. The downside of transplanting is that you don’t have as much ability to influence what the shape of that tree will be.

Planting a seed

While planting a seed requires more preparation, there is also more potential in a seed than there is in a partially grown plant. This is because a seed is able to benefit more from the environment that you provide it with, i.e. water, fertiliser, shade/sun.

What are you planting with your team?

I think sometimes in our dealings with people, we can hold onto ideas or plans too long and as such, they are not able to develop to their potential because, like a partially grown tree, they are already formed and established when they are passed on.

Trusting someone in your team with an undeveloped idea, be that internal or external to your business, requires more focus on preparation, however, in my experience means that the idea or plan will likely achieve a better outcome than what it would have if you had developed it fully yourself.

Developing something from a seed also creates a greater sense of ownership with the person you gave it to and probably a much greater sense of satisfaction, just like seeing a bare paddock turn into a fantastic winter crop. While handing over ideas or plans for others to develop requires more preparation and trust, the reward is in the influence your team has over the outcome.


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