I have a garden. Actually, I had a bit of open space. It was an opportunity not to be ignored and I converted that open space into a garden. After a while, I put in some plants. I however felt that the order, organization and quality of the garden could be improved. People visiting and sitting there felt good about the open space converted to a garden but were not happy about the quality of plants and some things which they could not articulate.
I was obsessed with the success of converting the space into an acceptable garden. One day a respected person whose hobby was gardening visited and suggested that I should bring in more fresh plants and improve the look and feel. I followed the advice, brought new plants and planted them in the available space. That did not solve the problem. A few weeks later, these new plants could not survive. Some died/dried and some lost their beauty. I again asked for help from the same person. He asked to see the new plants that I had brought into the garden, I told him about those plants. He said that those were not suitable plants for that particular garden, for the climate this city. [This is our habit, we try to find out wrong with the possible change]
He further added, “Why don’t you try different plants?” I did it again; this time too the results were no different. Now, I thought that I should go to some expert. Fortunately, I met one, shared my problem with him and gave him the history of the last couple of months. He too shared the same opinion as the hobbyist. He however added that my plantation and watering process had issues, I should have put in some fertilizers etc.
I was not convinced – Once bitten twice shy. This time, instead of relying on just advice and suggestions I asked a professional farmer/gardener to visit my garden. He came, I offered him some coffee; we discussed what had been happening and we visited my garden. He said everything was right but, you did not weed out the weeds! I didn’t understand so with all humility I asked him – to explain. He said – “Pravin, over time, if you miss out on opportunities, if you overlook a few things, some plants become susceptible of weeds and unwanted – not good – plants also grow in the ground. At times this happens because of the soil with which your new plants were planted. That soil might have had those weed seeds.
“So what is the solution?” I again asked him humbly.
He said – before investing any further in your garden, you do a few things. Firstly make your garden worthy of new plants. Secondly, take care of the soil and make it a habit to water and fertilize the ground. After a couple of weeks go to the market, bring suitable plants for your garden, capable of flourishing in the local climate.
Lastly, remember that you cannot leave your garden at god’s mercy. You have to keep an eye on it, keep on investing in fertilizer, watering, weeding etc and keep on maintaining the garden. Perhaps, find a person who can do all this over a period of time, if you are finding it difficult to do so yourself.
Now replace as following –
Garden as your organization.
Plants as your employees – some of whom make the garden grow weeds!
Water, ground, soil as culture and future (strategy)
New plants – new hires
Valuable advisers – You know who are they.
PS – This is just a story, author does not own any land, not even a wheel of bicycle, forget owning material thing 🙂
This was just a way to express how Organization change can fail. For knowing more on Change Management please reach the Author