After the loss of so many trees in our yard during hurricane Irene, I’ve found myself observing trees more often. Recently, I noticed that many of the trees within our heavily wooded acreage had been blown askew by Irene, but were still rooted. Why, I wondered, did they survive when my trees did not?
I realized that the density of the forest was such that the trees were not uprooted because they had another tree upon which to lean.
In my immediate front and backyard, the trees had more space in which to fall and on the way down hit other trees with such force that they took them out as well. I had one line of six oak trees that took each other down like dominoes.
From this observation, I made the following creative leap to change and work relationships:
Sometimes we might think that isolating ourselves and working alone speeds things up since we don’t have to get input from others. However, especially during times of intense change, we are going to need to build a networking web of colleagues around our initiative. We are going to need a forest of support that will offer ideas and assistance when the environment turns.
All leaders, initiatives and project plans rely on someone and something else. Whatever initiative you are working on, whatever position you hold in an organization, you can’t do it alone. Every project, every maneuver, is set up like a series of oak trees.
To succeed during times of change, make sure you have the support you need . . . because successful work takes a forest.
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