The gardener's art of 'grafting' and open source hiring

The past few weeks have been a lesson in olive tree gardening. Not literally, of course. Instead, I'm referring to the analogy between how one grafts olive trees and how one grafts employees into a company. The tie between the two hit me in my morning reading today....

When we think of gardening, we normally think of planting a seed, weeding around it, fertilizing the ground, and waiting for something to grow. In the case of olive trees, however, the process really kicks in once the "something" (the olive tree) has already grown. If the olive tree is providing bad fruit (olives), or a low volume of good fruit, you can graft in branches from a different olive tree - one that produces great olives in abundance - and it can actually change the tree such that it starts to produce good olives, and lots of them.

http://weblog.infoworld.com/openresource/archives/2006/10/the_gardeners_...