I see life as a perpetual changing process, like a tree goes through one season after another. People, businesses, associations or any other social group, they all follow this pattern over and over again. Like people, businesses and groups live and die. So, although my example below talks about a person, you can easily apply it to a group.
- Summer is where the leaves are abundant and dark green. In that phase, a person is in control and happy with his life.
- Then comes Fall, when he gets bored or uneasy with certain aspects of his life. Leaves dry out, change colors and eventually fall one by one.
- During Winter, it is time for the person to rest, to take a step back, to plan, to learn and to prepare for change. On my tree, one branch has no buds and looks dead. It represents an aspect of the person’s life, that he needs to let go. If the person does not “prune” his tree, the dead branch will rot and be a bugs’ nest, possibly able to spoil many, if not all aspects of his life.
- Finally comes Spring, with new, tender, leaves (skills, goals, or even life purpose) demanding close attention, so the person controls their growth and eventually shapes the tree, ready to enter a new Summer phase.
Managers know how this cycle of change applies to every aspect of their organization: the mission may need to be rejuvenated, a particular group of employees need some attention, a specific problem needs to be addressed enterprise wide… Coaching at work is a proven problem solving method to help managers to go through change without damaging healthy aspects of their organization.