Hottest day of the year and I'm helping a group of cool business people and changemakers get inspired by nature and talk about how we can make more of a difference together.
#schoolofthewild #meaningfulconversations #leadthechange #stepup #leadership #busi
Why team building is important
First things first - why do any structured team building at all? As a leader there are so many day-to-day pressures, that having time out of the office with your team might seem like a luxury you can ill afford.
But what happens if you don't invest in your team, take time to improve social relations, resolve workplace tensions, and build a forward-thinking culture?
The answer: your team may suffer from a lack of progress, poor productivity or conflicts, all of which can lead to under-performance as a whole.
As a leader it’s your job to resolve these issues as quickly as possible. If you don’t, you may find your staff leave you for a competitor, as a recent survey by LinkedIn shows: 70% of professionals would not work at a leading company if it meant they had to tolerate a bad workplace culture.
For today’s workforce, culture reigns supreme, and as Peter Drucker said “culture eats strategy for breakfast” ie it’s good for the business too.
Read on to discover why heading outdoors into nature is one of the most effective ways of achieving your team building goals and is a vital part of any HR strategy.
If you've not heard of it you'll get to hang out with 150 amazing humans on a 200-acre farm in Sussex. It's not just for startups but for anyone who wants to make a positive dent in the world.
If you haven't already I urge you to read this, it's brilliant.
#extinctionrebellion #thisisnotadrill #climatecrisis #essentialreading
Epic all-night walk through our incredible land. Thanks to Caroline Whiteman for navigating and to everyone who joined the #schoolofthewild night herd.
#fullmoon #dawn #solstice #sussex #nightwalk #insilence #notorches
At our Leading with Purpose sessions, I ask: "Given all that you've learned and experienced today, if you could commit to doing one thing to make a difference, what would that be?"
Since the start of 2019 we've been convening groups of business founders, leaders and pioneers around a campfire to talk about how to solve 21st challenges - of how you lead with meaning and purpose in an increasingly uncertain world, and improve the planet and your business. So far we've run six campfires for 40 leaders. Publicly committing to an action in front of the group has been a key part of each session. This is what people have committed to:
Think Productive work on communication, culture and strategy at a ninja away day workshop around the fire.
Who are they?
Founded by best-selling author Graham Allcott (How to be a Productivity Ninja), Think Productive help transform the productivity and wellbeing of leading organisations around the world, through practical, human and straight to the point time management and productivity training and workshops.
Think Productive are a close team, a mix of trainers (called Productivity Ninjas) and head office staff.
I continue to marvel at nature's ability to support meaningful connections and creative thinking. Some powerful pledges were made. We're starting to have the conversations that need to be had.
Photo by Matt Collamer on Unsplash
The other day I go for an early 8am coffee with a client. The HR director of a large charity, she has kindly agreed to meet me to explain why they have decided not to go ahead with my proposal for a leadership programme in nature.
Circumstances have changed. They’ve just done a 360. It has thrown up some unexpected stuff and the CEO has decided to go with a different plan.
It’s fine, I understand. And anyway I appreciate that she cares enough to explain this face to face.
Over coffee we have a wide-ranging discussion about culture, and the challenges and tensions of an organisation that has frontline support staff and also a retail arm, with different issues, different needs, and different personalities.
And then she mentions homelessness.
That’s when things take an unexpected turn.
For some reason I’m compelled to tell her what happened the day before. A visit to a meditation class has kickstarted my on-again-off-again resolution to be more generous to the growing number of people begging on the high street.
On my way to get some lunch, there's a toothless guy sitting on the pavement by the Barclays cashpoint, as I drop some coins into his hand, I ask him how it’s going.
Last weekend a bunch of people trusted us to lead them on a blindfolded foraging walk. It was brilliant! Walking slowly from place to place we led the group to 10 edible wild plants and introduced them through touch smell taste and lastly through looking.
Reminding me of celery this innocent riverside plant looks good enough to eat. Smells deliciously sweet too. Nestled amongst edible cleavers nettles and fireweed what is it about the most poisonous plant in the UK - Hemlock Water Dropwort - that's so seductive?
The question that emerged at this Campfire Catalyst was 'what else can we do to make an impact now?' Answers and actions ranged from small to large personally and professionally. Making a difference one step at a time.
I stumbled across this heart stone on a solo sunrise-to-sunset medicine walk around Devils Dyke yesterday. Once I let go of 'the plan' good things started to happen, and I had a totally different experience. So much occurred, I'm still processing all the symbols and insights.
What does burnout mean for your organisation and how can you use culture change and the power of nature to help your teams to thrive instead? Here’s a 5-step toolkit to cope with an always-on world. Words by Lauren Psyk
Photo by Victoria Heath on Unsplash
In a 24-hour, globally connected world, we are always-on - spending our entire lives connected to technology, with instant access to the world around us.
There are undoubtedly positive benefits to business and organisations from this state of 24-hour connectivity.
You can be more productive by managing projects using cloud based tools; you’ve got the convenience of being able to access everything you need, from meals to travel, with the touch of a button; and you can easily serve international markets during their waking hours, as working across different time zones and having staff based across the globe is becoming de rigueur.
However, it's also becoming clear that it’s not all sunshine and roses.
You may be able to have a gourmet meal delivered at all hours of the day and night, but what is this state of being always-on doing to your mental and physical health, and the health of your team?
Collaboration, impact, and purpose. How campfires help business leaders develop a plan for the future
In the last few months, School of the Wild has been convening groups of business leaders to explore what we can do to address global social and environmental challenges, and how to make the world a better place. Here, business coach Neil Pavel explains what he experienced around the campfire.
I have experience of this twice now after Nigel, who runs School of the Wild, invited me to attend a couple of the Leading with Purpose campfire catalyst sessions that he facilitates.
For a few hours, myself and the other people in these groups shared our stories, ideas and insights into leadership and responsibility, and about culture and the future.
Being outside has an immediate impact.
I notice how we all think and behave more-than-slightly differently. There’s an openness to the conversations, less boundaries, and lots of trust.
Having the time and space to reflect on leadership and impact with a bunch of complete strangers allows a wide range of subjects, voices, and opinions to be heard and mulled over.
Being outside has an immediate impact. I notice we all think and behave more-than-slightly differently. There’s an openness to the conversations, less boundaries and lots of trust.
Conversations that matter: culture, impact, legacy. And fireside rapping. Space Doctors team away day in the woods.
Mark and Rosie, key members of the School of the Wild team, get the woods ready before the client arrives.
#teamawayday #schoolofthewild #natureisouroffice
A visual natural navigation challenge. Can you tell which direction the bare feet are facing?
Today we're learning how the moss, shape, and roots of trees can help you find your way. This tree has a different kind of message though.
#schoolofthewild #naturalnavigation #wild #stanmerpark #treesareamazing #specialgroup
Author & Curator
Nigel Berman is the founder of School of the Wild.