Lessons from Gardening: Investments that Pay Big

June 13, 2018

Do you ever wonder if so called “investments” actually pay back?

I do. Like most of us in our hard-running culture, I’ve often caught myself thinking, “I can’t take time for that (vacation/class/training/insert important but time-intensive thing here) – I’m too busy getting things done!”

This verdant season always reminds me of the power of investments. Most weekends and evenings this time of year find me in the garden. While there, I’ve been thinking about soil health and investments like deep digging, compost, worms, cover crops, straw, and the like. And then there is the investment of time – planting the seeds and waiting for things to take root, soak up water and sun, and mature and grow.

And then, voila! Strawberries to die for! It’s only after a meaningful investment of attention, time, and energy that this is possible.

Investing in yourself and in the skills of your staff parallel making investments in your garden. You may be growing and cultivating some decent berries, and yet with some additional investment, your harvest might be even bigger and sweeter.

Ready for a bumper crop at your organization? Here are three tips to keep in mind:

  • Investing in yourself IS investing in your organization. Building your skills, deepening your network, and recharging your energy means you are more equipped to do the hard work that mission-focused organizations call for.
  • Real investments take time. Those strawberries took about six weeks to grow, and we had already waited a full year for the plants to mature. Depending on the change you seek, you might need even longer. Instead of a quick fix, consider what intentional commitment you could make so real transformation is possible.
  • Just try one thing. It’s easy to feel so overwhelmed and daunted by all that you want to invest in that you don’t invest in anything at all. Try doing just one thing, even if it seems small. It’s okay to start with just one plant.

In what way can you make an investment in yourself and in the health and impact of your work? I hope you will – and that you see a big payoff.

Here’s your next, best opportunity to invest in yourself or your staff and enrich your “soil” of skills, knowledge, and confidence in leading productive meetings and workshops.

ICL is excited to be part of the Training, Facilitation, and Consulting Certificate Program through Marlboro College, which begins again in October.

Here are some of the things that participants in last year’s Training, Facilitation and Consulting (TFC) program had to say about their experience:

  • TFC has been one of the most important investments I’ve made in my own professional development. I am a much more flexible, open, and honest facilitator and trainer, and I gained skills and knowledge that I could apply immediately to my own work. The one-on-one coaching/consulting element is in itself worth the cost of tuition!
  • I just completed this six-month certificate, and can’t say enough good things about it. If you work regularly with groups, facilitate meetings, or want to train smarter, this is the (jam-packed-with-knowledge, friendly, and fun) course for you. P.S. And the trainers rock!
  • Totally transformative.

Participants receive five days of intensive training at a beautiful retreat center (in workshops held in October 2018 and April 2019) plus individual coaching, webinars, a rich network of peers, and support over six months.

We hope you can join us! Click here to learn more – and please contact us at info (at) icl (dot) org if you have questions about the program.

P.S. Save $250! If you register before the end of the month, you’ll receive a big early-bird discount. Take a look and sign up today!