Farmers understand that they need to be planting seed constantly one way or another. Everything that they do is geared to the harvest. This principle works in the business world too. Tom Colicchio (head judge on Top Chef) affirms it (“How Did I Get Here?: Tom Colicchio” Bloomberg Businessweek, 5/16/16–5/22/16, p. 88):
“Be your own farm team. If you don’t provide opportunities to grow, people leave.”
When it comes to talent management, either you manage your talent up or you manage them out. Smart companies have learned the value of good old-fashioned farm work. They constantly invest in their staff so that their staff continually finds growth opportunity right where they are planted.
Some companies try to minimize or even eliminate investing in their people. That is a losing strategy. For a season, it might appear that they are doing a great job lowering expenses. However, that brings its own harvest—people leave.
Be a smart company; be a farmer. That will create the kind of crops you look forward to harvesting.