Leader How does your Garden Grow?
“Perennials or Annuals” Part 4 of 5
If you have ever gone to the local nursery with the intent to plant buy plants or if you have ever searched a plant website for ideas, you have come across this sign “Perennials or Annuals”. ( I always have to remind myself which is which!) One type of plant returns every season once planted and the other must be replanted each year. You must make the decision on which type of seeds or plants you want and be aware of which type of plants that you have in your garden.
Once planted and nurtured, a perennial plant will automatically bloom each year and come back every year. A Perennial plant becomes a permanent part of the garden. It becomes part of the culture of your garden. In every organization there are some things whether habits, ideas, procedures or practices that you want to be automatic and you want it to be a permanent part of your garden(organization) and the way and how you conduct business. These types of things may be your customer service, your procedures for addressing issues, the quality of service you provide, the things which separate you from your competitors or industry. In education there are somethings that you may want to be a part of the culture of your school: staff commitments, quality of work, positive relationships and instructional practices or standards. Also, as educational leader, there are people, positions that you want to bloom every year and return to your garden.
Annual plants have a season and then must be planted again the next year. This is not bad because everything has a season. It always gives you the opportunity to plan better, get different plants, move plants around or to get more durable types of plants. In organizations, there are things which are only for one season and are temporary. There may be quotas to be met, company priorities may shift, the needs of your stakeholders may change, you may have to address a specific need or unexpected situation. In education, we may need to address certain issues for a season: student discipline issues, attendance issues, achievement data issues, staff or faculty issues. However, once those issues are resolved or results are achieved, the issue no longer needs to be addressed. Also, unfortunately in education, this can also mean education fads or trials that we use in attempt to boost achievement but later realize they do not work or not good for students, so we let them go after a season. As a leader is may also mean people, committees, positions or task force that were brought into the organization for a season but may only be needed for a season.
In your garden:
- Do you have “annuals” or “perennials” in organization?
- Can you identify which plants are which?
- Do you need more of one or the other?
- What is your plan to re plant your “perennials” each year?
Read my blog posts and reflect to see “How your garden grows.” Please leave comments so that I can “grow” too.
This topic of perennials and annuals was interesting for me as I had not thought of the comparison to schools. I appreciate you bringing this to light as it will shape how I approach different ideas or initiatives. Good stuff for sure.