Some Thoughts On: Sowing Seeds

It’s spring, and so I spent much of last weekend prepping the gardens in one of these:

Admittedly, I’m not much of a green thumb… In one afternoon I managed to bury a bunch of new growth and lose a tray of already planted seeds to the wind.

Alas, the gardens manage to grow despite my horticultural incompetence.

My wife and I are relatively new gardeners. We’re a few years into this now and have learned a tonne of lessons in the process. Things like:

  • Don’t plant everything at once, or you’ll have to harvest it all at once.
  • The quality of the soil matters, and protecting it through winter is crucial.
  • Canberra spring is deceptive, there’s always at least one warm false-start, so don’t plant too early (only for the September frost to kill it).

These lessons have led to a huge focus on proactive planning this year – mapping out the garden beds, along with the timings so we can sow the seeds at the right times.

This proactivity has taken work – not just physical work, but conscious work to make the time for it.

Proactivity takes choice.

It means delaying the day to day to solve the month to month.

And yet the most common thread across my executive advisory clients is not making the time for proactivity. There’s always a fire to fight, and there always will be. (In fact, I suspect it’s part of the reason they hire me in the first place – some forced strategic proactivity!)


Finding time for ‘strategic proactivity’ can be a little like eating your greens – you know you should do it, but there’s always something that you’re going to choose over it.


So, what’s the solution?

In short – there isn’t a one size fits all here. Some people love the feeling of self-control that eating your greens gives you.

Others like to eat burgers, but when working with someone and towards a goal will happily eat their greens.

I’m in the latter group. I know what I want, but I need others to help me get there.

If you’re like me, then attach your proactivity to someone or something. Structure it and create accountabilities.

Then all of sudden your proactivity will feel just as urgent as your reactive work!

(And that’s the trick)

It’s going to be hard work either way, but this way your gardens will actually pay off.

And A Quick Note: Sowing Guns?

Just quickly – while we’re talking sowing seeds for the future, are you thinking enough about where your people will be in 5-10 years?

Earlier in the week it came to light that gun maker Remington made an agreement with video-game studio Activision to place their (then new) rifle the ‘ACR’ into the Call of Duty video-game franchise. With hunting in decline, Remington’s hope was brand and model awareness throughout their target market – young males.

Parking moral questions for the moment, on a brand awareness basis – it worked. With the ACR becoming a fan-favourite within the games for its low-recoil and accuracy.

Reflecting on this, I live rural, and I’m a licensed gun holder. I also distinctly remember the experience of buying my first gun. I had no idea what was good or not. I’d never heard of any of the brands, and I stood there staring at the wall of guns like they were written in another language! If there was a brand on that wall that I’d used in a game a few times – at a minimum, I’d be asking to see it closer.

It’s hard to overstate the power of branding and awareness.

Branding matters – even more so inside your business.

Are you considering not only who you need to change today, but who you’ll need to influence tomorrow?

Final Thoughts

Most of you seem to read these over the weekend, so in the spirit of experimentation I’ve done a Sunday release this week.

See you all next week.