Thursday, May 31, 2012

An Innovation Lesson from a Chinese Bamboo Tree

I came across an interesting blog post by Emma Tiebens in which she shares a story told to her by a friend about the patience, diligence, and perseverance required in planting and caring for a Chinese bamboo tree.  To plant a Chinese Bamboo tree, you prepare the soil, pick the right spot, then plant the seed. You water it and wait… and wait… and wait… You continue to water it for an entire year and nothing appears. No bud, no sprout, nothing. Amazingly, this will continue for the next four years! Finally, in year five, one day you see a tiny green stub sticking out of the dirt. From that day on progress is fairly rapid and within six weeks the bamboo tree is over 80 feet tall!

Really? Did it really grow 80 feet in 6 weeks?

No… it grew 80 feet in five years!

The Bottom Line - Innovators should take inspiration from the above as they nurture their own "Chinese bamboo idea seeds." Remember Principle #2 from my book, Living in the Innovation Age, that "Innovation is a Journey not a Destination." Be patient as success might be just around the corner!

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