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Grow Your People, Grow Your Business

As an aspiring gardener, I've been reading books about how to grow produce on my small plot of earth in Houston.


Many of the gardening books I read describe a mental attitude shift for new gardeners. They say that instead of focusing on the vegetables or the plants themselves, focus on growing the soil. By “growing the soil” they mean tend to it, aerate it, improve infiltration of water and enrich it with compost. Doing so will yield much better, more sustainable results.


As a process improvement consultant, I’m struck by the similarities between this concept of “growing the soil” in gardening and growing your people in business.


As business owners, we all want the fruit of an efficiently run, profitable enterprise: Double digit growth in top-line revenue, better EBITDA numbers, higher returns on invested capital, etc. In short, more free cash flow.

Often though, our focus on the end-results creates a short-term mindset that disregards employee potential to create long-term strategic advantage.


So how to grow your people like you would grow your soil and get better long-term results?

One way I’ve seen to grow your people is to give employees more decision authority.


Other ideas abound. What about you?


How will you grow your people to grow your business in 2019?