Does your town or business have a community garden? “There’s something truly special about tending a garden with others. Growing together takes on a whole new dimension when it’s shared with family, friends or neighbors from the wider community. It’s sociable, fun and full of laughter. And all those intimidating jobs: digging, weeding, and anything involving a shovel, seem less overwhelming when there are more of you to tackle them.”
Reading about building community gardens sounds a lot like building strong leadership teams. Have gardeners been reading how to build successful leadership teams? Or are leaders good gardeners? What can we learn from gardeners about creating conditions for a team to thrive?
Look at your organization as a garden. What does your community garden need ?Take a moment to see what you can learn about leadership through the lenses of a garden.
Start with the Seed of an Idea– “Perhaps you and a group of similar-minded gardeners want to bring the joy of gardening to others? Maybe you want to restore a sense of community spirit? Or perhaps you just want to brighten up your neighborhood? Whatever your motivation, the first task is to gauge how much interest there is and the likely level of support.”
What is the seed of an idea you’d like your organization to consider?
Secure a Piece of Land– “With enough interested parties involved, it’s time to secure some land. Whether the land you have identified is public or privately owned, you’ll need to put the case to the landowner that your involvement will improve the land and that it won’t cost them unnecessary inconvenience, time or money.”
What resources do you need to ensure success?
Set your Ground Rules and Vision- ” Set ground rules from the start. Far from being dictatorial or overly bureaucratic, rules ensure everyone knows what’s expected of them, removing potential sources of conflict. Have a single vision for your community garden. “
What is your vision? What will success look like?
Overcome the biggest challenge “The biggest challenge/opportunity (depending on your outlook!) is working with other people. Depending on the size of your community garden you will want lots of volunteers to help share the work and keep the garden as productive as possible.”
How can you leverage the talents of everyone on your team to achieve success?
Take a Field Trip- During the upcoming summer days, take a field trip with your team to a local community garden. Volunteer to plant, weed, and harvest. Your team will help bring more local fresh food to our communities and they might just walk away with some new insights on how to tackle the next big project at work.