Over here in UK, people have been plants trees. This time with a few centuries in mind. It’s hard to imagine, but there are some oak trees which have stood for over 1000 years. Before the printing press, the Renaissance, the Magna Carta, the Incas and even before the Great ZImbabwe Kingdom. That’s an old tree. And these trees are disappearing. But some folk are trying to replant woodlands and forests. However, they are not just planting thousands of oak trees.
Monocultures of any kind are rarely a positive thing. By diversifying, or in woodland terms – biodiverse, the benefits exponentially increase. And not just for the trees, biodiverse woodland reduce floods, disease, and increase habitat for birds, insects, and the like. Biodiverse woodland are ‘stronger’ than monoculture ones. And that doesn’t include the benefit to humans or carbon sequestering.
What is true in nature is also true in organisations. Diversity makes us stronger. It may appear to be ‘slower’ but that is often because we are viewing a part rather than the whole. Monoculture organisations can grow quickly, but because everyoen is the same the source of growth is often the same and therefore quickly depleted. And when trouble (disease) sets in, it easily and quickly spreads. Diverse organisations change over time as people and the context changes.
When we view difference as a positive contribtion, something to learn from, something to integrate, we grow and mature. And we get stronger. Together.
And perhaps we can ask ourselves each day ‘how is what I am doing today, helping those who come after me?’