Through Guy’s Eyes – Turning water into wine

Even the best CEOs cannot thrive when their organisation is rooted in a toxic environment.

Have you ever considered how your business is exactly like a wine farm? Probably not, especially if your products and services have nothing to do with agriculture. But hear me out here.

Turning water into wine business

The thing is that there are literally hundreds of wine farms in South Africa – just as there are hundreds (well, thousands) of corporates. Each of them makes wines they hope will prove more tempting than those of their competitors. But what are the tools they have to make sure that this hope comes to pass? The wine master? Sure – but, then again, even the most skilled and experienced wine master can only do so much with the raw materials, especially if they’re somewhat lacking.

What it comes down to, in essence, is the soil. Great quality soil makes for a final product of great quality, while soil that’s been depleted can barely provide nourishment – and it shows, no matter how hard the wine master may try to create magic.

In the same way, I believe that the ‘soil’ of your organisation is ultimately responsible for the quality of your company’s output. Like a highly skilled wine master struggling to produce something exceptional out of a vine grown in inferior conditions, even the most practised and dynamic leader will battle to make the company truly shine if the soil is poor.

Our message? Do what you can to improve your soil. When I say this, I’m not talking about culture, or organisational change and development, or even transformation – the ‘soil’ has to encompass all of these factors in the right organic mix, which is why it impacts on so many areas. Get it right, and you’ll get pretty much everything else right, too. Get it wrong, and watch your competitors take over the market.

Watch out for coming posts, where we talk about how to nurture that ‘soil’.