Fruiting Bodies and New Business


The unmistakable bright yellow fly agaric mushroom stood right in my path as I stepped out for a breath of fresh air in the East Woods last weekend. I had to stop and admire the fantastic color, texture, and symmetry of this fruiting body. Though we usually consider this visible part of the mushroom as the whole plant, in fact it is just the result of a long and arduous process of colonizing the ground with mycelium fibers. Only when ...

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The Coyote and Market Dexterity


After the coyote leisurely crossed in front of my car the other day, he paused a few feet into the woods and stared back at me. His glower seemed a little too bold for my comfort. These canids have proliferated in recent times – I’m sure many of you encounter them in all sorts of environments. Their adaptability and dexterity have enabled them to become our nearly constant, yet silent, companion.

I am a big fan of focus and discipline, and ...

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USDA Quarantines and Markets


The East Woods are under quarantine and the USDA is busily searching for the dreaded Asian long horned beetle. This invasive pest is wiping out ash, maple, and birch trees and could cause havoc in the environment as well as the dependent industries. Thus, we have 5 forest inspectors out back looking at every single tree in the woods for signs of this dreaded pest. The good news is that the boundary of the bugs’ excursions is well defined, ...

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Lightning Rods and Risks


A lightning bolt hit the big pine nearby the other day, rattling the surroundings and sending fifty pound splinters flying. I have a new appreciation for the power in those flashes, and am now looking at installing lightning rods to keep my house intact. This reactionary approach is similar to how businesses often deal with rapid changes in their environments.

When one of these big challenges suddenly appear, businesses scramble to handle the them. Here are a few rather unpleasant surprises ...

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Orange Fungus and Focus


The other day I came across the most conspicuous thing I’ve ever seen in the East Woods – the bright orange Chicken-of-the-Woods mushroom, [tastes like chicken, they say...]. It is about a foot and a half across and covered in brilliant lobes stretching out in all directions – a bizarre sight amidst the deep greens of mid-summer. With these sections of orange going in apparently every direction, it reminds me of the struggle that many growing companies face as they ...

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Dribble Castles, Organic Growth


I had the pleasure of sinking my hands in sand puddles all Sunday afternoon, making a dribble castle. For those of you who are uninitiated, just scoop handfuls of wet sand and drip the slurry onto a pile, moving ever higher until the parapets and ramparts take on their epic shape. It is a gratifying, although somewhat painstaking endeavor. Unlike the piled-buckets-of-sand approach, this will take hours to get to a good form and height.

It is similar to the actual ...

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Icicles and Execution


The icicles that formed on the roof edge were a pleasant gift from the [thankfully] uneventful ice storm on Monday. All of them were similarly shaped and marched downward as the freezing rain extended their lengths. This alignment of ice reminded me of companies trying to execute their plans for growth, expanding in new geographies or a doing a myriad of other activities.

Though rain, freezing temps, and gravity are all that is needed to form the icicles, getting one’s organization ...

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