Dr Paul Charles – The age-old question: what came first, the chicken or the egg is not just an existential question.  It is not a question which can be answered with an either/or response. Frankly, I don’t think it is fair to the chicken – who’s about to lay the egg. Rephrased the question is: what came first: the apple or the seed?

Stand Out

Embedded in this question is a search for priority and importance.  If the cell is the idea then we should sell the cell and celebrate the cell! I love ideas.  Acquiring market share is idea driven. Yes, but it is more than just embracing change – it is the ability to drive and be the catalyst for change.  Most changes in organizations are driven by external influences and rarely initiated through innovation.  Adding to the sameness just adds to the noise and clutter.  If you want to stand out – you have to be outstanding!

Coping by Copying

Copying and taking advantage of others is in our nature we adapt by copying others. It is easier to copy what works.  With regards to change, many have resorted to coping by copying.   However, a compelling value is never created through coping by copying. We cannot clone or duplicate people but we can copy ideas which are the basis of change. We haven’t mastered how to clone people – when we have extracted their ideas, we tend to discard them or worse: compel them to be like everyone else.

Let’s face it: if I am going to be you – who’s going to be me?  Ideas emanate from individuals.  If I become you – then a vacuum will be created called Me!  To take this further, if all of you become me: then I will be left with just more of myself, and I don’t think my wife and children can handle more of me!   If you are going to be me – who’s going to be you?

To kill the individual is to kill the idea. 

It is sometimes touted that we must “go big or go home.”  Have you heard it before?  Well, if this was a couple’s seminar, I would have said, “it’s not the length, it’s not the size – it’s how many times you make it rise!”

Progressive organizations do not minimize the value of their employees.  I might be a small part but a small part in a big machine – I am a significant part indeed.   Many say we need vision: I say we need glasses.  We need a fresh perspective to keep the balance and maintain a disruptive equilibrium with the onset of artificial intelligence.   

People pay you for your ideas – but nobody buys an apple for the seed if the seed is the idea. The seed comes with the apple.  Enjoy the apple, and you will eventually get to the seed. Celebrate people, your employees, and they will share their ideas.  

Where does growth happen?

Growth happens at the cellular level.  Your employees are at the cellular level – if you invest in them and their well being – you are investing in your own growth, as an organization.  Growth happens at the periphery.  Your employees are at the periphery.  If you want your business to grow, intentionally grow your employees.   Smart organizations choose to hyphenate instead of eliminating.  People add value and the collective hyphenation of their ideas is of inestimable value and can lead to exponential growth.  

But, who’s carrying the seed?  As an employee I value my idea, and, as an employer, I should value my employees.

When you discard the apple – you are throwing away the seed.  You cannot have the personality without the person, the idea without the individual or the seed without the apple.  If you want to remain relevant in these ever-changing and disruptive times – you need ideas – because ideas are the seeds of great things.  But you don’t have to go looking for ideas out there somewhere, because the ideas are in your people as the seed is in the apple. 

You know what: I’ve changed my mind: you keep the seed and give me the apple.