Planting the Seeds of Innovation
The power of an idea can be frightfully intimidating. Sometimes, even a great idea can feel larger than life and the repercussions of its success can be overwhelming. If I succeed, then what?
There’s a story about a farmer and his two sons that I’ve been thinking about a great deal recently concerning innovation at Forever. As we embark on a new year, our 40th anniversary and many product and business evolutions, I’ve reflected on this story and how it can help Forever continue to progress over the next 40 years.
A farmer brought home a handful of seeds to his sons one day and asked them to very carefully choose one seed each. The first and eldest son chose a beautiful seed. It was perfectly shaped, dark and shiny. He knew quickly, by the reaction of his father, that he had chosen very well.
The second son inspected the seeds slowly, selected a rather average looking seed and looking to his father, displayed a look of pride. His seed may not have been as perfect as his brother’s, but it was a good seed and he was sure of it.
The two boys took their seeds and made plans for the season. The eldest son took his shiny, beautiful seed and showed it off all over town. People admired the seed from near and far, congratulating him for selecting one with such clear value. The youngest son took his seed and planted it in the ground. Each day, he watered and tended it.
At the end of the season, the farmer invited his two sons to join him at the market. The eldest put his seed in his pocket to see what it would be worth. The youngest son brought the large watermelon that he had grown and sold half of it for a nice profit. He cut up the other half to pluck out the seeds. He sold half of those seeds and took the other half back to his garden to plant more watermelons. His brother sold his seed for a penny.
The youngest son in this story has shared an interesting lesson. Every innovation begins as an idea or a seed. When we let it evolve, it can become incredibly valuable, leading to great progress and more great ideas, so on and so forth. We recently announced new company policies concerning the Gem Bonus, Gem Eagle Managers and Manager move-ups that I believe are a great step for our future. These innovations didn’t happen overnight, and they took a lot of tending by our leaders to decide what would be best for the future of our FBOs.
Transforming an idea into something valuable isn’t a quick or simple process. It takes time, energy, care and support of others around you. It also can be intimidating, but it’s worth it. So, hold on tight and put your focus on progress. We are on the fast track toward an exciting future!
As we continue to embrace the spirit of innovation and announce new advancements for Forever, I encourage you to look at your business with this same spirit. You must also decide how you will treat the seeds of innovation in your business. Will you let them evolve into something fruitful or will you rest on your laurels and come up short?