September 19, 2017

Are you an architect or a gardener?

House and gardenIt is said that “The policy maker should act as a gardener not an architect.” In other words, the policy maker will do better to support good ideas that emerge rather than direct from on high.

I connect that with experience of some organizations that assume new ideas cannot come from external sources and innovation can only be initiated within. But they have no monopoly on knowledge.

On the other hand, sometimes the leader really does know best.

When it comes to change, do you direct as an architect, or nurture new growth as a gardener?

Do you develop a vision and then command its realization, or do you hold space for new things to emerge?

The art, of course, is in holding these opposing dynamics in balance.