Wisdom is like a baobab tree, no one individual can embrace it. – Ghanaian proverb
Disruption has become the catch word to describe the times we are living in of transformative change. These times are uncertain and characterised by fast-changing technological advancements, causing unprecedented developments that are fundamentally impacting and altering our lives and the way we do business. A good example is that of mobile money transfer platforms like Mpesa in Kenya. No sector has been left behind with this service, even churches use Mpesa to collect their offering.
The baobab tree which commonly grows in the African savannah is a succulent tree that absorbs and stores water in its vast trunk during the rainy season enabling it to produce a nutrient-dense fruit in the dry season when all around is dry and arid. The ‘Tree of life’ is popular because of its nutritive value and is referred to as a ‘superfood’ among health enthusiasts. Every part of this tree is useful. The baobab can live up to 5000 years and grow to be 50 meters wide and 30 meters high. Due to its richness and wide features, no one individual can embrace the baobab tree. This is so with wisdom.
The richness and vastness of wisdom are such that no one person can lay claim to owning it, but ‘parts of wisdom’ are deposited in different people. A wise leader provides an environment that harnesses these parts of wisdom from different people. Innovation is the driver of success in this disruptive age. Smart leaders recognise that they do not have all the innovative wisdom needed to survive and that anyone in the organisation can come up with innovative ideas and solutions. This means that leaders must create an innovative culture that is open and empowers employees to contribute to the organisation’s bottom line.
Furthermore, innovation is one quality of top places to work. Remember, the most innovative ideas of our time did not originate from the boardroom but the workbench.
- What are some of the challenges of your organisation that could do with more wisdom?
- What can you do to create a more innovative culture where you serve?