Do you water your people the way you do your plants?

Ensuring their post prized and thirsty blooms are sufficiently watered has become a key priority for UK gardeners with the recent drought warnings and hosepipe bans – and something that Ellen Kullman, chairperson and CEO of DuPont knows all about.

In a recent Fortune Magazine interview Ellen Kullman talks about her landscaping father’s mantra “If you don’t water it, it’s going to die” and her childhood experience of having to water the family’s gardens each week. Although she did not necessarily enjoy the task, it resulted in an all round ‘blooming success’ because her mother and grandmother were renowned for nurturing the most beautiful gardens in town. This savvy lady then applied her father’s advice into the workplace – and her career has flourished.

Each Friday afternoon Ellen meets with her key people no matter how tired and out of ideas they all may be and “waters the plants” by giving them time to talk about what’s wrong, what’s going right, what’s working and what’s not. Out of these weekly sessions have come the germs of some great ideas and seeds for some winning projects that have enabled DuPont to consistently stay in the top 100 of the Fortune 500.

What are you doing to “water the plants” with your key people. Are you boosting your company’s value through workforce engagement by keeping them on top form and giving them the opportunity to plant and grow fresh buds of ideas on a regular basis?

As a business strategist with decades of expertise in working with owner managed and family run businesses across Yorkshire and beyond, I can help you to grow your business in the same way that Ellen Kullman is developing hers. Contact me on or go to @richardwhatif on Twitter, Richard Bosworth on LinkedIn or

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