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Rotations are key

Updated: Jan 20, 2021

I used to think I was really good at growing tomatoes. I know, it sounds a little ridiculous, but I have been able to successfully grow tomatoes in Washington, Oregon, and Wyoming - with the shortest growing season I know of. Last year I had to learn how to can tomato sauce because my family could not eat all of the tomatoes we had.

Tomatoes are the star of many gardens... their branches grow and climb, deep green leaves provide a rich color, and then amongst the greenery emerge bright red, orange and yellow fruits.

For me, this year was a very different story. My tomatoes were small, sad, and we barely got enough to make a caprese salad if you add up what we got all year.

And I didn't know why. As most of us do when we run into a question we don't know the answer to, I turned to the internet.

Tomatoes may be a star, but they will not thrive in the same location year after year. If you do not rotate them in your garden each year, they develop diseases and literally rot before your eyes.

They are like high potential employees in an organization. Leaders identify them, they provide care and feeding (mentorship), give them a great place to grow (a promotion), and sit back and watch them thrive...

Everything works... until something happens...

A key piece, that is often missing in high potential development programs, is the need to rotate these employees. If you leave them in the same role year after year, they will get bored and wither away.

These employees need to be rotated: they can lead a new project; they can lead a new functional team; they can take a special assignment to implement a new return to work program.

The new experiences invigorate high potential employees to help them thrive.

Next year my tomatoes will be moving to a nice new location on the other side of the garden. How about your high potential employees... what does next year have in store for them?


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