Growing up in a small, rural North Dakota town, agriculture was and still is the lifeblood of the community and state. I frequently think about how as in business, a great harvest, or business success, is the culmination of multiple factors.

On the plains of the Dakotas, a growing season is carefully planned out in advance with a bountiful harvest at the end in mind.

Every great business has a rock solid and well-planned foundation. The business will ultimately be limited by the extent of the foundation, framework and structure of it, but the big why and a bulletproof plan are most crucial.

Before planting, specific seeds, varieties and crops are specially selected to best fit the environment, soil and length of the growing season.

Multiple factors go into a great organization, including making sure the right people that fit the values and culture are strategically placed in the right seats. The values and focus of the organization are just as crucial.

Seeds are carefully planted when the timing is right. They are spaced apart perfectly, sometimes planted with other items to protect them and further encourage growth.

Every living item has seasons. Times of growth. Times of recovery. And times of preparation. A business much functions the same. There are times to push and scale, as well as times to plan and recover. All within the business must be kept within the loop as to the on goings and plans for growth and development overall as a business, as well as individually personally and professionally.

Throughout the growing season, only a hope and a prayer exist that the seeds will indeed sprout and later grow into something wonderful, creating a fruitful harvest.

A business is never guaranteed success, although by sticking to the process and prioritizing its values and ultimate direction, there’s no doubt they will be.

There is a proven process in place to tend to the crop. Cultivation. Fertilization. Application of chemicals at the optimal times. These processes are adjusted as needed and performed repetitively over the course of a season at optimal times.

Successful organizations have a solid plan for how they operate, how they communicate, how they market to customers and take care of them. And these processes must be shared by all employees.

A blind trust in the process that the harvest will come exists, even though many factors are out of the farmers’ control.

Like a hail or wind storm, shit that you can’t control happens in business as well. But you adjust, adapt, pick up the pieces and continue to move on as best as possible.

A strong environment of sunshine, adequate moisture and nutrients will assure greater growth and development.

Meaningful learning, development and providing the necessary resources and mentoring to your people is crucial if you want to peak come harvest time in business.

Only near the end of the process does the head of wheat or grain, the product of weeks of labor, start to show.

Businesses aren’t just successful overnight. There are months and years of planning, preparation, strife and struggle. But by focusing on the process, celebrating the wins, learning from the losses and having a can do and never quit attitude, great things will happen.

Then, when the time is right and the crop is mature, the grain is then reaped.

In business, there’s no final maturity, as you’re always either growing or dying. Fruits of the labor are harvested here and there. But as in farming, once the crop comes off, the planning for the next one immediately begins.