So a huge (well, by English standards at any rate) storm blew through the south of the country over Sunday night, Monday morning.
Capetonian friends of mine tried to sound all big and clever when stranded in Hong Kong a few weeks ago by ‘super’ cyclone Usagi. Apparently you know nothing until you know a Black South Easter. Ahem.
Anyway, back in England, rush-hour travel chaos and saddening loss of life occurred due to fallen trees. Headline 99mph winds were mercifully brief and localised.
At least this year’s unusual force of nature was well forecasted. Unlike the 120mph, infamous 1987 debacle.
One day someone will hold meteorologists fully to account.
I caught an “arborist and property lawyer” talking head. He was asked what more could be done to prevent trees from being uprooted.
He began by explaining how at this stage of the year, with most trees still full of leaves, their surface area is swelled. What’s termed a ‘sail effect’ kicks in. This means the tree is easier lifted out the ground. A event made more likely with other factors present, like when the surrounding earth is already sodden through earlier rainfall.
It appears the sail effect can be lessened, and storm damage reduced, by maintenance such as pruning, trunk/bark care, and ensuring the roots are properly anchored.
Instantly I saw a neat Sales parallel.
Let’s take one random website’s tips;
Keeping a tree upright in a storm is influenced by two factors:
1. Minimizing wind resistance above-ground and
2. Maximizing anchoring below ground
If you have a forecast session or major bid review in the offing, then I reckon you can shine by taking (at least) half-hour to use this as a winning framework.
I’m sure it’d make a cracking change that interests, inspires and encourages different thinking. As well as breathe new life into an age-old procedure. Even if only done once, as a current-affairs themed one-off.
To help your juices flow, here’s some ideas for starters (I’ve equated above ground as your prospect personalities, below as your message, and location as external forces);
Too many leaves can lead to disaster in a nasty wind. Are you trying to persuade too may people? Who are the key handful, or even single person, that you must have onside to prevail? Spending time with those you may wrongly consider ‘influencers’? Are you wasting, and diluting your efforts too wide or unfocused?
Dead wood can damage strong branches. and some branches wrap themselves around each other to amplify worrisome impacts. This invokes the old favourite, politics. Who is influencing who in your prospect, and do our friends have it in them to convince any doubters?
So it’s a myth that a healthy up-top means there must be healthy roots. Could that mean we must re-assess the strength of our pitch? Is it well-crafted? Does it genuinely solve a must-solve issue? How much urgency does it create?
With roots better anchored when they are not tightly spiralled down, then how can our message spread without being pulled back? What prospect goals may clash with our ambitions? Will they constrict our message? Can ours spread properly? Do we know how to engage everyone affected, everyone touched?
You don’t want to have a tree near power lines. Nor be up against a wall with deep foundations. Are there any other time-hungry projects that can vie for louder attention and squeeze out the time spent on yours?
You don’t want to put the same sapling where once a giant tree already fell. What previous experience has the prospect in our arena? And how can we either build on older success, or totally avoid running from the failure of shouts of ‘tim-ber’?
Water (and Sun) Wise
The tree must have proper sunlight and water. Where’s does your deal’s energy come from? Does it need nurturing, feeding, stroking? Is it sustainable, or could it be easily deprived?