We just returned home from shopping and we’re busy unpacking everything into the fridge and cupboards.
I picked up a punnet of cherry tomatoes and pondered whether to take them out or leave them as they were and just put them into the fridge. We’ll that got me thinking about how much effort we go to when we’re packing away the food: we’re careful to bring the old stuff left over from last weeks’ shop out, or to the top of the pile, and we’re careful not to put new stuff in that might be rotten to start with or suspiciously close to going off. We check that there are no rotten tomatoes in amongst the good ones. There are no cucumbers about to turn to water. Why? Experience has taught us that if there is one bad or rotting item amongst the others, pretty soon that rot spreads to other items that would be have fine for the entire week, had they not been close to the rotten one – the entire lot of tomatoes can go bad much quicker with that one rotten tomato.
That got me thinking about teams of people, of how important it is to keep the team aligned, focused and charging along in the same direction. One stray person that is left behind becomes a danger for the entire team, and hence for the success of the project the team is working towards. They can become stale, disgruntled, upset and well, rotten. They can then spread this to the rest of the team, the more susceptible ones at first, then the stronger ones, then finally, well, the team is no longer doing much good.
So, just like a punnet of tomatoes, with a team of people it’s very important to keep the rotten ones out in the first instance and to make sure that ones n the team that start to turn are addressed ASAP, either being removed or realigned with the purpose of the team!
All that from a bunch of tomatoes!