We all know that metaphor is a powerful means to help us understand various aspects of life and, even more so, about ourselves. Metaphor derives from the Greek μεταφορά and means "transfer, transport to another place" and is, in fact, a figure of speech that we often use to produce figurative meanings through comparisons.

arl Jung, Swiss psychiatrist and psychotherapist and one of the great thinkers of the 20th century, even calls it"the healing symbol", due to the capacity that metaphor has to provide us with images, which can transform unconscious patterns into forms assimilated and understood by our conscious. According to him, metaphor affects the human being at three levels: the mental level, where we interpret the meaning; the imaginative level, where we find the transforming power; and the emotional level, where we connect to the feelings incorporated in the metaphor (Woodman, 1993).

The Adam's Choice executive learning experience is structurally different from anything that has been offered so far in terms of training at our School. Its methodological approach is based on the human being as a unique and holistic being, whose learning happens at all levels of his existence: body, mind and spirit. And that is why we don't talk about a course, we talk about a journey, we don't talk about classes, we talk about experiences, we don't talk about teachers, we talk about experience designers. It is also why we do not limit ourselves to the campus, but rather look at the world as a huge classroom with unlimited potential.

To better understand the richness of Adam's Choice, I invite you to look at what for me is the greatest source of inspiration: nature. We chose the apple tree as a metaphor for the participant, not only because it is the originator of the Adam's apple, which gives its name to this project, but also because of its beautiful and truly brilliant growing process and also because it is considered one of the most flexible and resilient trees in the world, due to its ability to adapt to the most adverse climate conditions, ranging from the cold of Canada (giving fruit even in temperatures below 30°C) to the tropical climate of Africa. And it is precisely these characteristics that make the apple one of the most consumed fruits in the world and the apple tree one of the oldest trees. As Charles Darwin said:

"It is not the strongest that survives, nor the smartest, but the one that best adapts to change". Without a doubt, something extremely necessary today more than ever.

Thus, throughout the Adam's Choice journey, the participant will grow like an apple tree, first through pruning, then pollination, later through the transformation of the flower into fruit and finally through the ripening of the fruit and consequent harvest. It is through this journey that the participant is challenged to create their own methodology of choice, which we call ChoosenologyIt is through this journey that the participant is challenged to create their own methodology of choice, which will reflect their individuality and a profound path of self-knowledge.

Pruning // Define Your Path

Pruning is a horticultural and silvicultural practice that involves the selective removal of certain parts of a plant, in the case of the apple tree, the branches, recognising and maintaining those with the greatest potential for growth and sustenance. A pruned apple tree will gain structure and shape, will grow more healthily and will generate higher quality fruit.

This first phase of the programme - Define Your Path - is the time to define the participant's journey, to understand who they are, to assess how they are doing in each of the six dimensions of being human (physical, social, emotional, intellectual, spiritual and occupational) and to define those that need greater focus and investment at this time in their life. I seek to let go of what weighs me down, in order to flourish more vigorously.

Pollination // Nurture Your Soul

Pollination is the transfer of pollen from the flowers of pollinating apple trees (male) to the flowers of the bearer apple trees (female), allowing subsequent fertilisation and seed production. This transport is almost always done by bees.

Just like the apple tree, we human beings also need a whole ecosystem to develop and enhance our transformation. In this Nurture Your Soul stage, we provide this space of nurturing, sharing, inspiration and empowerment, through initiatives based on an individual and group journey. These initiatives follow an evolutionary process and are interconnected: on a more individual level, peer mentoring (where the participant is both mentor and mentee) and access to personalised content, and on a group level, being part of a small tribe of 5 to 6 co-learning members, with access to exclusive, unique and original masterclasses.

Transformation // Immerse Yourself

Only pollinated flowers generate fruit. And it is after pollination that fertilisation occurs, which gives birth to the seeds that will become apples, causing the flower petals to fall off. This transformation happens from the inside out, just like the third stage of the Immerse Yourself programme. In this stage, the participant's mental state will be fully absorbed and enveloped by the immersive experience, which allows for an alienation from the outside, a release from everyday anchors and established beliefs and dogmas, becoming a "clean slate" for learning. Through this powerful holistic experience, the potential is created to bring about new mental models that empower a structural transformation in the participant's life.

Maturation // Take Action

The apples should only be harvested after they have reached an adequate maturation state, in order to present high sensorial quality standards. For harvesting, the apples "must be ripe (and not ripe) and therefore firm, crunchy, well coloured and aromatic". Without proper ripeness, the apples will have a low taste quality and will be more susceptible to the appearance of physiological disorders in the storage phase (Público, 2013).

Just as with the apple tree, the participant will also go through a phase of growth and "ripening", the period during which he will incorporate all the learnings, through reflection, awareness and exploration of his new mental models and consequent application in his life, having developed resilience and being now prepared to reach Choosenology. The last and fourth stage of the programme, Take Action, is fundamental as it prepares the participant to "harvest the fruits" of this whole development process, fruits that have the potential to generate new whole ecosystems.

In short, what can we learn from the apple tree?

  1. That my process of growth and maturation requires time and space.

  2. That in order to develop resilience, I need external factors, on whom I depend and who influence me.

  3. That in order to harvest fruit, I need to go through the various stages of growth and that this is a cyclical process of renewal and for life.

So who doesn't want to grow like an apple tree? And what impact can the harvest of each of its employees have on an organisation?

Published in 
 in the area of 
Leadership & People

More articles from

Leadership & People


Join Our Newsletter and Get the Latest
Posts to Your Inbox

No spam ever. Read our Privacy Policy
Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.