Building a “Fruit Bearing” Intranet
A few years back, while writing content for my corporate website, I put my marketing hat on and tried to find a term that differentiated the output from my technology services. I came up with “sustainable growth” … I help customers build intranets that are primed for “sustainable growth”. For my New Year’s resolution, I decided to update my website and have my 14-year-old son proof the content. If he got it, anyone would (no offense to him but he is a teenager; enough said). Sustainable growth? What? So, here is how I explained it to him…
A couple of years ago I was at Home Depot on a Saturday morning and noticed they had small fruit trees on sale. I could grow my own fruit? How cool would that be! I bought a lime tree for myself and a lemon tree for my mom. They were barely a foot tall and each had the tiniest of orbs to indicate the potential for fruit. My mom loved her tree (which I took as a somewhat sad testament to how bad my previous gifts must have been). She kept it on her deck and tended to it regularly. I placed my lime tree by our pool and watered it weekly, dreaming of the day when I could have friends over, break out the Coronas, and pluck my own limes to top them off. Fast forward to end of summer, and this is where things get ugly (or I get stupid). My mom brings her lemon tree in the house… because we live in New England and it actually gets pretty nasty for what feels like our nine months of cold, miserable weather. I, on the other hand, completely forget about my lime tree and, of course, it fails to make it through to spring. Fast forward again to today, my mom, who has continued to care for her lemon tree, raves about her yearlong access to giant lemons, equally appreciative of each one. She features the beast in the corner of her kitchen and it is often the center of conversations with her guests. Me? I continue to buy my limes at the store. Here’s the thing… my mom and I both took on the project to grow our own fruit. We started in the same place with the same type of plant. She committed to “sustainable growth” and I did not. I started with all the proper intentions to achieve my goal then got distracted (or didn’t make it a priority or lost sight of the vision or insert trite business lingo here, etc.) and ended up with nothing to show for my investment (money and time) but one measly lime.
So, back to the website… building intranets that are primed for “sustainable growth”? It’s about helping to set the environment that will foster steady growth AND offering the guidance to push through the (false) assessment that says a small win is the same as victory. I help customers grow full, rich, healthy, highly featured lemon trees (intranets) that regularly produce big honking lemons (measureable business game changers). I help companies grow “fruit bearing” intranets… end with quizzical and disinterested look from my teenage son.