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Welcome to Merge's Monthly Mega Minute - a bite-sized, yet substantial and practical, nugget of information that you can use immediately to enhance your professional and personal success.

What does it take to grow papayas in Canada?

My favourite fruit is the papaya. Succulent, fragrant, and slightly sweet, just one bite instantly transports me to the warm, gentle breezes of the Hawaiian and Caribbean islands. I am reminded of early morning drives through papaya farms, where you can stop and buy the plump ripe fruit, picked just hours earlier. Oh, I wish I could grow my own papayas. There is one problem though … I live in Canada!

You see, even though I may have the best quality seeds, no matter how hard I try, it is almost impossible to grow papayas in Canada. Papayas are a tropical crop, which means that they need high levels of humidity for growth, and then a warm and dry climate for ripening. And they grow best in alluvial soil which is found along deltas and riverbanks. Alas, while we have several deltas and many riverbanks in Canada, tropical weather is sadly lacking. The only chance I would have of successfully growing papayas in Canada would be in a greenhouse, where I might be able to replicate the ideal growing conditions.

Bottom line: to successfully grow papayas, I need both the best quality seeds and the right climate. Which isn’t unlike what it takes to grow high-performing teams.

High-performing teams are a function of getting the right people and creating the optimal climate in which they can thrive and produce. Which means that as leaders, we need to invest in both finding the best people, and in creating a positive and productive work environment. Finding the top people means using best practices to recruit, interview and onboard employees. Creating a positive and productive work environment means giving people meaningful and inspiring work; being a role model for open and honest communication and change leadership; and allowing for autonomy and trust in decision-making. As a leader, do you have both your seeds and your climate covered?

Unfortunately, in my leadership development practice, I have observed many situations where a great deal of effort is made to obtain high-quality employees, only to lose them because the work environment is toxic. And then the management of the company laments that they can’t seem to keep their good people. If your department or organization turnover is high, then it is worth your while to objectively assess whether a poor working climate is the source of your problem.

I’d love to hear about your experiences, either where you work, or what you’ve observed in other organizations you are connected to. Best seeds and the right climate? What happens when you’re missing one, or both, of them? Please comment directly on the blog at

Two columns in The Globe and Mail!

Since our last issue of Merge’s Monthly Mega Minute, Merge had two of her regular columns publish in The Globe and Mail.

  • Merge’s May 9 column explained the single deliberate action you must take to make working remotely a success; the six steps that will keep your long-distance relationship robust: How to maintain that long-distance relationship with your boss
  • As a leader, how can you communicate unpopular decisions and changes that you know will not be liked or accepted, but while still maintaining trust and your credibility? In her June 1 column — How to communicate unpopular decisions and changes — Merge outlined the six things you must focus on as you craft and deliver your difficult message

Turning Managers into Leaders

That Merge has worked with over 280 clients in nine countries?

Merge is privileged to have helped people become exceptional leaders and better communicators in over 280 client organizations. She has worked with sales managers, service managers, and government managers; C-suite executives, association executives and not-for-profit executives; franchise owners; academic leaders, student leaders, armed forces leaders, and healthcare leaders; in just about every industry in countries all over the world. If you'd like to see a list of just some of Merge's satisfied (and in many cases repeat) clients in nine different industry categories, then visit this link.


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