Your Org is a Garden

If your approach to gardening is to lump a load of seeds on some broken ground and dump a bucket of water over them, you won’t get a beautiful, diverse, and well-functioning garden - you’ll get a tangled mess of the most rugged and hardy plants, all vying for resources and space.

If your approach to tech recruitment and onboarding is to take your candidates, give them access to the codebase and point them at some incomplete documentation… you can see where this is going.

  • “Weeding out the weak”: This isn’t good process; it’s the trademark of a toxic culture.

  • “If they’re good, they’ll figure it out”: If they’re resilient and self-confident, they’ll persevere. It doesn’t say anything about the quality of the output.

  • “We only have capacity for people who can Get Things Done”: Then focus on removing the obstacles for success.

  • “We need more people like Sam, they get loads done”: Perhaps instead, look at why the other hires that looked so promising haven’t flourished in the same way.

  • “We never seem to be able to hire enough people”: Well, I’ll leave the answer to that one as an exercise.

DEI isn’t just a bunch of words on a blog about what you want to see. It’s monitoring and actions throughout every area of your organisation; from hiring, to performance reviews, to the tools you use to communicate. If you want to see the benefits of a flourishing, diverse organisation, then you have to put the effort into tending it. Prune the plants that need taming, not the plants that are struggling.