"Do what you can, where you are, with what you have" - Teddy Roosevelt
|Look at what you have in a whole new way!|
As the snow melts I continue to see plants that I forgot about and a whole lot of trash that somehow found its way under the snow. I was outside yesterday and am still wondering where an old metal crow bar came from along with a long steel pipe and wicker basket! Cleaning up the yard and garage is a Spring ritual and just can't be put off. Spring can also be a great time to "Dumpster Dive" to seek out all kinds of cool and unique junk!!!
I love unique garden art. I like to put a special stamp on my garden with a "Lisa" flair. That means seeking out fun and unusual outdoor art. If you are a gardener, you know that garden art is anything but cheap. Hence, I look for ways to use old junk that I can use my creativity with and turn it into unique pieces of art. My favorite is metal because it's indestructible and looks better as the weather throws everything it has at it. I love to "repurpose" old junk and if that means visiting old junk yards or dumpsters - I'm on it!
Repurposing is the "art" of finding new uses for old things. I am picky about what I bring home and I don't like old stuff inside my house. Inside, I'm more of a modern girl - the less stuff the better. Some of my best finds have been near the dumpsters by my Mom's cottage. The cottages are on the shores of Lake Michigan and all the cottages are about 90 years old. That means some good old stuff! Every Spring the cottage owners clean out their junk. I have found several old metal porch pillars that make great trellises for Clematis vines. I have several old metal bed frames that I have spray painted and turned into colorful bright panels that host flowers by my pond. We found an old metal bike rack in the front of our property that is smothered with Sweet Autumn Clematis every Fall. I turned an old metal fire ring into a raised flower bed in an area where nothing will grow because of tree roots. I love old metal and it's fun to find a treasure to get my creativity flowing as to what I can do with it.
You don't need to be a gardener or artist to find great ideas for your garden. Just visit Pinterest and you will be presented with unlimited ideas. Flea markets, old farm garage sales, antique stores, junk yards, and yes, garbage bins can give you the junk that you need to start creating. Look online for ideas and then look around your own house. You may be surprised what you can repurpose. Don't dump your old rusty wheel barrow, put plants in it. Years ago I worked at a bank where we did a huge remodel of our building. I took home van loads of unique stone in all shapes and sizes. I used them to make a dry creek bed in an area in my yard where we had a lot of runoff from our gutters. It looks natural and serves a important function. Why dump perfectly good stone that would cost hundreds to buy?
This season, look around you. If you see junk lying out for the taking or in dumpsters, think about how you can turn it into something new to enhance your garden and further enhance the look and feel of the space around you. Think twice about throwing something away. Even an old wood dresser or seatless chair will survive a few years outside while bringing a new look to your garden. Stand back and take the time to look beyond what is in front of you and instead, think about what it can become!
|Photo Courtesy of Pillowhead Designs via Compfight|
Look around you - there are opportunities everywhere!
I'm sure that you've heard the expression "Old is the new New". In business, not enough of us apply this to our processes and people. If something isn't working "out" the way that we think that it should, we throw it out and start over. When we apply this attitude to our people, we are making a huge and costly mistake. Despite the pool of candidates out in the job market it remains a challenge to find great talent to bring into our teams. If you are in human resources you know how expensive, time consuming, and resource draining new hires can be. We want to bring the best talent in at a reasonable cost and grow them into the organization. This can be frustrating and a challenge. I think that we are too quick to throw out what isn't working. We are too hasty in replacing someone if they don't quite work out. We need to look more closely at what we have and how we can "repurpose" our talent to new areas.
We need to be willing to look at our people and envision how they can be our next best "Garden Art"
As a leader you put a lot of effort into finding the right talent to bring to your teams. From time to time you may find yourself in the position of noticing that one of your people just isn't working out. Perhaps they have been in the same position too long. Maybe they have some great qualities but just aren't a sound fit anymore. Is it time to cut ties? NO! You hired them because they had the right "stuff". They still bring something to the table. They have value. Something happened along the way and a true leader finds a way to look at their talent in a new light. It's time to look beyond what is in front of you and instead look at what can be. How can the talents and gifts of your people be utilized in a different position or area ? You need to step up and "repurpose" your talent.
The first step in looking at how your people can be "reborn" into another area, opportunity, or even changing their existing job, is to sit down and acknowledge together that things just aren't "right". Have a candid discussion of what you both see and how you both feel. Ask your employee what they want and need from you. Let them know that you believe in them and want to help them grow. That may mean that they move on into an area that gives them more opportunities for learning and growing. Strong leaders help their people grow, even if that means losing them to someone else.
The next step is sharing your team member's strength and weaknesses. Where do they excel? Is project management a high for them but they have little opportunity to use it? Forget trying to improve on weaknesses. It just won't work in the long run. Take their strengths and build on them. Use them more in a project role going forward. Focus on using their strengths in their existing job or in finding a new opportunity where they can shine.
Here's some more ideas to consider when looking to make the "old" new:
Place people into a learning rotation so they can learn more about how different areas function and how they can help bring down "silos". They will be exposed to new people, ideas, and methods.
Involve them in some company forums where they can share their ideas and learn from others. They can bring their experiences back to the team.
Create a mentoring/coaching relationship for your team members.
Give your people a work "buddy". They can learn new skills, learn from others, share ways to collaborate, and expand interpersonal skills. This is similar to an internal internship.
Give your people a chance to shine again. Give them stretch goals that won't make or break your area. Give them a new way to contribute and choose how they want to do this.
Give your people a chance to amaze you in new ways. Allow them time to take on entrepreneurial projects that they want to dedicate time to. Let them use their skills and creativity in new ways.
Act like a leader, show your commitment to your team. Focus on growth and opportunities.
"Repurposing" your people is one of the greatest acts of leadership that you can take on. Looking beyond what is in front of you and instead looking at what can be is a rare gift. Dedicating yourself to refreshing one of your people will bring untold benefits to everyone. Consider what leadership in this area can bring:
Stem talent from leaving by redirecting it
Bring down silos
Fresh eyes and opportunities
Renewed team confidence
Strengthened work styles
Stronger/new team relationships
Who will you reach out to today to "repurpose"?