Lessons About Meetings from the Forest

Here are three lessons about meetings that came from a walk through the forest.

1) Giant Sequoias

These marvelous trees are a living example that some things take time.

True, we need to work with a sense of urgency. We need to do more with less. We need to move faster than the speed of chaos.

And we also need to be appropriate.

Rushing through some issues can produce false solutions.

For example, a group slams together an annual plan, only to find that the plan ignores real market conditions, organizational limitations, and individual support. The result is a document that no one uses.

For example, a powerful group makes a decision without listening to other people’s ideas. And then a bad situation becomes worse. In fact, sometimes the neglected side retaliates with such force that the original group loses status.

Better: Take time to make sure that all considerations are included in plans and decisions. If you are planning a meeting to resolve a major issues, hire a skilled facilitator to help you obtain a result that lasts.

2) A Bear Cub

This cub behaved like a goofy toddler while mama bear went about her business collecting groceries in a supermarket. The cub climbed on logs, fell off rocks, and dropped things on mama. And during all of this play, mama bear just kept working, munching plants, gathering nourishment.

That is, she kept eating until the cub ran toward me. Then mama bear looked up, growled, and chased after the cub. (I’ll assume that’s what she did, because I ran away when Mama Bear growled.)

What’s the point?

Sometimes we need to allow an appropriate amount of disorder because it’s part of growth. It’s part of letting people explore. It’s part of letting people be themselves. Of course, when threats appear, then we should take charge. And we may only need to growl to restore order.

3) Mustang Clover

In the spring, the Sierra Nevada mountains are covered with patches of Mustang Clover. These small flowers (typically, less than half an inch across) look like simple small pink dots as you walk past them. But if you pause and look closely, you will discover a masterpiece of complex beauty.

The point: Are you pausing to notice important details? Some may be merely enjoyable reminders of how wonderful life can be. Others may be essential indicators about the health of your business.

By the way, you can view photos of a Giant Sequoia, a bear cub, and a Mustang Clover at: