Every February around this time, there are welcome reminders that Spring is on the way. The first for me is a witch hazel bush in my front yard that defies sub-freezing weather to produce fragrant yellow flowers. Then, a few weeks later crocuses and winter aconites will emerge from the snow. The cycle continues through Spring and Summer as each species awakens, blooms and then rests. Some plants, like the witch hazel, develop with very little support. Others, like a late-Summer blooming Rose of Sharon, require special protection from blight and insects.
There are several metaphorical lessons I take from the witch hazel and its co-inhabitants of my yard:
The first is that there will always be early bloomers and later bloomers – people, as well as plants. People, in particular, learn and grow at different rates, so celebrate the early bloomers but don’t expect them to last forever. The deserve a rest. And have patience with those of us late-bloomers who will come along eventually.
The second is that some of us require more care than others. Lacking that individualized attention, only the hardiest, most self-sufficient souls will flourish – not a good condition for gardens or human organizations.
The third is that maybe, for both plants and humans, this is the they way things should be: a continuous cycle of growth, each in its own time with its own unique contributions – awakening, blossoming and resting. Call it a continuous improvement culture.
By the way: Here’s another sign of Spring: Our 2nd Annual Spring Showcase is just 50 days away. Through the magic of Whova, attendees will virtually visit 9 great companies with creative employee teams each sharing sharing a best practice or two from their continuous improvement cultures. Hope you will join us. You can register here.