There is a new field called biomimicry, just over two decades old, where nature is used to solve problems in the world. This may sound odd to you, but George de Mestral invented Velcro after burrs stuck to his jacket, and when examined them he recognized the potential for a fastener.
Today, let’s take a look at the palm tree. I will include some of the characteristics of a palm tree and use them (add some of your own) to associate with a pressing problem that you are having, to see if you can open a new avenue of thought to aid with creative problem solving.
When you think of a palm tree what immediately comes to mind?
- Tall and majestic
- Towering beauty
- Provides shade
- Withstands drought
- Stands strong even in the most inclement weather
Facts About, and Characteristics of, Palm Trees
- Evergreen, mostly tropical plant in the family Palmae (also known as Arecaceae).
- 202 currently known genera with over 2,600 species of palms.
- First appeared in the fossil record around 80 million years ago.
- Growing from three to 100 feet.
- Strong Foundation: Before it begins to sprout upwards, it attains its maximum girth beneath the ground first. That is, it grows deep first.
- Grow best in moist soil to dry, desert conditions – rainforests to deserts.
- Crowned by a mass of branches from 40 to 80 in number, and on these the fruit grows.
- Fan shaped (palmate) or feather shaped (pinnate) compound leaves arranged at the top of an un-branched stem. The leaves of palms are found in an equal distance apart on the spine of the branch.
- Flexible: The tree bends and sways back and forth but does not break.
- The coconut tree is a type of palm tree.
If you assigned the characteristics of a palm tree to your problem, how would you solve it? For instance, consolidation is taking place in many industries, so perhaps you are no longer earning enough income. Like a palm tree, you have strong roots since you have built a strong Foundation of knowledge. Now could be the perfect time to sprout upwards, and like the palm leaves, which spread outwards, you could move into adjacent industries, or provide complementary products and services.
Spend some time exploring http://www.AskNature.org. Nature may be the solution to your most pressing problems. I have included photos of palm trees that I took while on vacation in Barbados a few years ago. Take a look at the pictures, you may notice other characteristics that stimulate problem solving.
Please let me know your thoughts in the comments section below. Many readers read this blog from other sites, so why don’t you pop over to The Invisible Mentor and subscribe (top on the right hand side) by email or RSS Feed.