Start Up Blog

Nature or Nurture?

I noticed this morning that a particular area of my box hedge isn’t growing as well as other areas. See the two photos below.

hedge1 hedge2

In order to remedy the situation I thought about what the different things I could do:

  1. Ensure the poor performing area was getting enough water
  2. Make sure the soil wasn’t poisoned in that particular area of the garden
  3. Remove the weeds from the periphery
  4. Add some fertiliser to the struggling area
  5. Aerating the soil with a hoe
  6. Ensure the area is getting enough sun

In fact, I’ll try the methods above. What I wont do is ‘remove’ the box hedge. I really need it because it forms part of the garden perimeter. It provides the required symmetry. It’s an integral part of the garden. I will give it the extra attention it deserves, and talk to it. I won’t pretend it will fix itself, because I know that is just a fantasy.

So, why do we take the opposite view with our staff / employees or business partners? We rarely ask first what we can do, and most often just ‘cut them out’, get rid of them, or even chastise their performance, before we look at the reasons for it. Maybe they:

  1. Aren’t getting enough cash to do their part?
  2. Maybe their part of the organisation has structural issues?
  3. Maybe they have non functional ‘hangers on’ stealing time & resources?
  4. Maybe we need to invest in some training or programs to boost the area?
  5. Maybe we need to give them more space & freedom to perform?
  6. Maybe we are not providing enough reward & recognition?

You’ve probably noticed how many of our people problems have strong analogies to my box hedge. In fact, both nature and people, need nurturing.

Steve – founder rentoid.com

2 Responses

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  1. Andre Sammartino said, on November 17, 2008 at 3:57 pm

    I’m trying to think of a witty pun about your failed hedging strategy, but, alas I’ve come up with nothing :)

  2. Sookjin Ong said, on November 19, 2008 at 11:47 am

    Came across your blog from Andre’s. :) And it’s a good thing, because oh, what an insightful metaphor – box hedge!

    “In fact, both nature and people, need nurturing.”

    Sometimes when companies retrench workers (especially given the economic downturn), it feels to me as if it’s a knee-jerk reaction more than a deliberately thought-out action.


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