Lessons From the Olive Tree

Nov 29, 2023

These are 225 trees that at the time were able to fit into roughly 2.5 sq meters- taken 20 years or so. They made up half of the total 400 trees that I planted with the assistance of a friend.

Below is a pic from a drone showing the 400 trees

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Development needs time.

Olive Tree

While it is easier to sometimes rush things and push for results or a crop, it is not sustainable and costs more in the long run.

Lesson learnt

The correlation to developing or having succession planning in place is apparent to me, what about you? Sometimes a person leaving, getting a promotion or not able to travel for example highlights a lack of bench strength.

Development/ growth needs support- but not too much.

Olive Tree

If the tree is supported/ tied tightly to one stake to stop it moving, short term it will grow ok and reasonably straight. But grow top heavy and not develop its roots and trunk as much as needed.  Tied between two stakes with a rubber tree tie, the tree will move a little and “get the message” that there is wind around, challenged by the movement/ rigor, it will send down stronger roots and withstand strong winds/ challenges and generally become more resilient.

Lesson learnt.

You need to enable or allow for challenges and some movement. Tight controls/ micromanaging  and not allowing for some buffering will protect the leader or person developing in an unnatural way and fall over longer term.

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Nutrition and shaping

Olive Tree

Needs to be fed, slow release and regular fertilising is best. Fertigation and delivering the water and fertiliser through the irrigation delivers the nutrients to the tree, not wasted.

Soil testing pin points what nutrition it lacking/ needed.

Shaping/ pruning ensures a managed tree and shaped to allow for harvesting.

Lesson learnt

Nutrition for growth needs to be specific and against either context of a development plan or based on pre determined elements.

Criteria and 360º provides specifics and feedback on what are the strengths, areas of need and maximise return for effort.

Opportunity for growth.

Olive Tree

Taken out of the plant out pot, the tree grows rapidly from the contained/ limiting small pot and grows rapidly with vigour. Left in the small pot, it becomes root bound, dries out and dies.

Lessons learnt.

Give people the opportunity to grow. Take them out of their smaller pot and give them a chance to grow into a bigger role (space). If they don’t get the opportunities for growth, they will leave and seek opportunities elsewhere.

You can’t kill an olive tree but you can kill an employees love for your company and engagement

Olive tree

You can’t kill or it is very hard to kill an olive tree by cutting it back (pollarding) the tree removing all but the bare minimum of trunk plus a bit!

Certainly food for thought I have found and hopefully sparks some thought for you.

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