ntor.co.za” target=”_blank”>PROMENTOR works in the corporate sector, assisting entrepreneurs, business leaders and professionals to improve their performance and that of their businesses. This was an ideal opportunity to obtain feedback from the experts. We chose a walk that provided a little bit of a challenge, plenty of reward, spectacular scenery and great diversity.
We used several tools for this exercise. One of these involved drawing metaphors from nature, which can apply to our lives and our businesses. We were fortunate that the magnificent Tree Pagoda’s (Mimetes fimbriifolius) were in full colour and provided much opportunity for discussion.
This plant employs the services of birds for pollination and ants for seed dispersal and protection. It ensures that these services are rendered by using designs that benefit the birds and ants. Without the cooperation of the birds and the ants, this plant species would not survive. Does your business have strategic alliances? How do you treat these business partners? Do you make it easy and beneficial for them to do business with you? Do you give them special attention?
These plants may take up to 10 years before they flower and in order to reproduce they must survive fires at least until this time. To these ends they have a thick fire resistant bark which protects dormant shoots. In the event that fire destroys the growing tips, these shoots take-over. Do you have a strategy in place to protect your business or family in the event of a catastrophe? Do you have insurance? Do you have a contingency plan?
These plants grow in nutrient poor soils. Instead of using scarce resources to produce flower petals, which will later be discarded, their leaves multi-task. The leaves that surround the reduced inconspicuous flowers assume a bright red colour and serve to attract the pollinators. Later, after the flowers have been pollinated, these same red leaves will turn green and through photosynthesis will produce sugars for the growth of the plant. Is your company efficient? Do you squander resources unnecessarily? Do you employ the correct people for the correct job? If your company is small, is there a case for requiring your staff to be multi-skilled? Is it worth having staff who are skilled in more than one aspect of your business?