Why just letting the grass grow will never produce the desired result

John Greenwood, Head of Technology & PCI Compliance, Contact Centre Panel

Summer is over and my annual attempt to turn what was once a space to play a bit of footy with the kids into a colourful wildflower meadow has once again well and truly failed.

Am I fooling myself that nature will prevail or am I simply being lazy in not following the weekly routine of starting the lawnmower, begrudgingly filling it with petrol and pushing it up and down this green space telling myself it’s good exercise!?

I should succeed. Information is available, I have the vision and help is at hand. My daughter, whose family nickname by the way is Flower, works for the local Wildlife Trust. My wife, an abstract landscape artist, whose appreciation of colour is a gift she shares openly in her abundance of work. My options are numerous, and the more I’m asked to pay, the less it appears, my risk of failure.  Reading through the links that appear readily when I open the browser on my phone, I’m invited to spend thousands to take away my pain of failure. I could scrape up the field and returf with carefully selected grasses and wildflower seeds to match my soil type. Or maybe the lesser cost option of adding a layer of soil impregnated with appropriate seeds, again matched to my home ground.

Apparently, the problem I’ve failed to overcome in establishing my small contribution to biodiversity, is that wildflower seeds, however many times I scatter them over the autumn field, stand little chance of germination because they fail to compete against the established and dominant grasses. The most ecologically effective approach to solving this problem is to mow, scarify aggressively and plant yellow rattle, which suppresses the grasses and leaves space for wildflowers to grow.

So, when you mistakenly believe your budget is actually your business plan and you set forth with the best intentions to reduce your operating costs through automation, deploying BOTs where once there were voices, have a thought about my attempts at growing a wildflower meadow. Perhaps take the time to understand the full dynamics and nature of the ground you are seeding. Have a thought about taking the strategic long term aims, not tactical fixes. Think through your options of delighting your customers without necessarily spending thousands pulling up the old and laying down the new. Embrace the available help from familiar people who have proven experts in helping others and embrace the nature of what you already do to ensure that the new can grow and flourish. Whatever you do, don’t simply let the grass grow and expect to get a wildflower meadow.