Had a few opportunities to think about trees and weeds lately. Its spring in the Southern hemisphere and this last week I had a bit of time to venture into my little creek at the end of my property and contemplate the neglect of winter.
Weeds are interesting - they do not grow all winter like most plants exposed to the harsher environment of winter, but as soon as the first rays of the spring sun start to shine they shoot forth and take over. They are voracious in their need for nutrient, water and light.
They grow most times at the expense of the system they find themselves in.
As I entered my creek I became aware that the seemingly explosive growth of weed down there was actually inhibiting my resident king fisher from his meal, the weed was choking the water way and stopping the eels from migrating up the stream and the natural water alfalfa a delicacy in many Maori dishes had been totally obliterated by the weed's hurry for short lived glory.
Weeds never last but their impact can be felt for a long time.
One of the reasons weeds get to grow this aggressively in my creek is the absence of large riverine trees that have made way for urban development. Trees unlike weeds take time to grow they are part of the environment, they are facilitators, cohabitors and renewers. Large riverine trees actually shade the water ways thus prohibiting negative explosive growth. They keep the integrity of the banks of the stream together, they renew the soil that they feed from and they are beautiful.
Trees are the leaders of the garden.
They are organic, authentic and dependable. They put more into the system than they take out. They protect the environment they live in and they make space for all other plants to live in a managed and coexistent way.
Trees are awesome!
I look around the companies I work within and sometimes I ask myself where are the trees? What in the business system is cutting them down? What in the system allows weeds to grow instead of trees?
Problem is a stream with only weeds is an unsustainable stream - a dead stream.
- Trees and weeds don't look very different when they first germinate - talent and non-talent sometimes look the same as well
- Trees take a bit of nurture to really get going - make sure you are fertilizing the correct plant!
- Trees have unlimited potential to make streams better - humans are the same
- Trees are powerful feedback loops for their environment, they are constantly taking and giving biological feedback to their surroundings - what feedback loop do you have in your life?
- Weeds never last but their negative impact can be felt for a long time - not developing leaders in your organisation will have the same result
- Nature can be a compassionate teacher, take the time to connect and be present the systems around us can teach us a lot - the same applies to the the work space, be present and 'feel' the possibilities
- Taking the time to nurture trees will pay big dividends for your garden - ditto for your organisation
Even when you are tempted to have your moment in the sun at the expense of the system or the greater goal - ask yourself do I love the weeds in my garden?Do I see a future for those weeds in my garden? Am I growing like a weed or am I solidifying myself like a tree?
The outcome of being a weed or a tree are predictable.