5/15/12

Nurturing

Everything's In Bloom (Part 7)

Each time I plan a garden I visualize the garden in bloom, well ahead of buying the first plant or seed.  The garden will be a part of the landscape, nested with other gardens and plantings accented and defined by hardscape thoughtfully placed.

As the seedling breaks the ground or the first new growth shows the plant has taken root in its new surroundings there is a sense of joy and pride.  There is a strong desire to make sure that this new part of the garden grows and becomes everything it should be. 


That desire to nurture is a part of us and something very difficult to suppress.  Whether we are helping children, new careers, new ideas or a new company to grow, we want to be a part of it, taking an active role, contributing and celebrating.


The benefit is far more than the growth we get to see and encourage.  It renews us from the inside out.  We have the tendency to see everything around us with a new perspective and sometimes notice things that have been there all along and failed to catch our attention.  It forces us to slow our busy pace for a moment, as new growth demands attention.  We re-prioritize and re-evaluate with the new perspective and possibilities including what we see in new growth.  


Taking the same benefits and making nurturing activities a proactive part of your leadership, business plan and personnel development will bring surprising results. 


One way in which some companies have implemented nurturing programs is to encourage executives to mentor younger people in the company who demonstrate promise and initiative.  The executives who take on the role are busy people for whom time is a precious commodity.  They may only meet with the person they are mentoring a few times in person, but will have many formats of communications in which there is an exchange of information, ideas, expertise and perspective.   Both will grow greatly as a result since the mentee reaches for a higher bar of performance than would have been a part of their traditional growth paths.  The mentor experiences the perspective of someone who is in a learning mode rather than the conditioned information often given by people who want to climb the ladder.


Another type of nurturing program is in the format of individual and/or focus group projects to turn attention to a component of the company that is ripe for renewal.  It may be a process, information, or marketing.  An objective and vision is set with a timeline for the results and suggestions to be returned.


Some companies use competitive initiatives to drive nurturing programs.  Different than normal production achievement, these utilize group tactics, strategies, momentum and team dynamics.  Nomenclature is applied which incites creativity, competitive passion and in some cases roles that will create a temporary alter ego.  Fun is a key component and the opportunity to bring new leadership to the forefront builds new skills.

Simple more passive methodologies can be a posted idea or thought of the day, an inspirational quote shared or even simply taking a few minutes to talk to someone with genuine interest in what they are doing and giving an idea or two to make their results better or job easier.  


No matter what your style of nurturing is, it will bring a return on your investment as you watch the new seedlings grow to bring blooms and fruits of your labor to your garden – soon, everything’s in bloom.




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