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.
Much gratitude to Extinction Rebellion for being present and making waves: climate change is now higher up the agenda.
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.
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
How does your organisation stay connected? How can your team have more impact and make more of a difference? Making meaningful connections and having conversations that matter to address these questions at a team building away day in the woods today.
#team #strategy #nature #business #schoolofthewild
Marketing guru and writer-photographer, Lauren Psyk, came to a Leading with Purpose campfire catalyst session. She wasn't expecting it to be so powerful. This is her story.
photo of Lauren Psyk by Saskia Nelson.
In my twenties, I was attracted by the bright lights of London and had ‘trendy’ marketing jobs with media organisations.
From an outside perspective I had what every young professional wants - I worked on partnerships with music and media brands, I got to go to glamorous events and trendy media industry parties and I had a decent enough salary to enjoy the London life.
Back then, nobody talked about millennials, the buzz word at the time was urbanites - and I was living the stereotypical urbanite life; work hard, play hard, spend hard.
Lack of purpose
But despite my initial excitement, within a couple of years it became clear to me that I had set off on the wrong path. Neither my job nor my lifestyle were going to make me happy or give me any sense of fulfilment. Life and work felt meaningless, empty and vacuous - essentially I was lacking any sense of purpose.
So I quit the media life and went to work in Government communications, on a THINK! road safety advertising campaign aimed at reducing deaths and injuries amongst motorcyclists.
My work had meaning and I felt fulfilled. I got a huge sense of achievement from the fact I was doing something with purpose, and which had a positive impact.
Eventually I left London to seek a healthier and more balanced lifestyle by the sea here in Brighton, and I started designing a career that fits around my needs and values.
More recently, I have worked a lot in the charity sector and on projects which give me creative freedom. But purpose, and doing work which has a positive impact is still a core part of what drives me.
Not your usual Friday night. Thank you @natureschildling.
#schoolofthewild #solstice #nightwalk #fullmoon #silence #notorches
Conversations that matter around the fire with another lovely group of business leaders. Noticing how nature supports creative thinking connection and deeper intelligence. Powerful stuff.
How a walk in the mountains turned into a powerful emotional experience.
It's been a deliberately slow start to the year at School of the Wild, so as we wait for warmer weather I’d like to share a curious thing that happened to me over Christmas.
I was in the Spanish Pyrenees staying near the top of a secluded valley, surrounded on three sides by high ridges.
One day I decided to do a Medicine Walk, a ceremony of aimless wandering. The idea: you set off with a question that you ask of the land, and then let go of the question and go where you feel drawn, where seems interesting. Then pay attention to what happens.
Medicine Walks are a mysterious thing, they turn the land into a mirror for your inner world, and can be really helpful in answering life’s questions. I’ve always found them to be surprising, and pertinent, and powerful.
So in the morning I head off from where I’m staying, up to a gap between the ridges.
The track is steep and it takes a while to get to the top. When I get there, out of breath, I sit for a while on a rock overlooking the valley, taking in the view.
Leading with Purpose taster session for business leaders, making connections, and having meaningful and rich conversations that matter around the fire. We continue to marvel at the power of nature to bring people together and to spark creative thinking.
In such a rapidly changing and unpredictable world, identifying an overriding purpose for your business is more important than ever. Being a greater force for good and achieving personal fulfilment are arguably just as important as pursuing profit alone. Here’s why connecting with your purpose is a vital part of a successful business strategy.
Read time: 4 mins
The world is changing and the future is unpredictable. Brexit, climate disruption and the transition to a digital economy are just some of the more obvious challenges facing today’s business leaders.
In the face of these uncertainties, and with the daily demands of running a business, it’s easy to see how your purpose can get lost.
The urgent day-to-day pressures of meeting deadlines, finding clients and managing a busy team can often become more important than what seem like idealistic notions of ‘purpose’. This may lead you to feel a dichotomy between being true to your values and running a successful business that earns you a decent living.
The desire to do some good, rather than chase purely short-term financial goals, is something you may end up putting aside.
And if you’re an entrepreneur or a startup, you need to achieve credibility, clients and an income quickly in order to grow your business. It’s all too easy to grasp at partnerships, projects or areas of work that don’t meet your wider objectives just to get your business off the ground.
As Andrea Collings, Director of Brighton based startup Terrier Marketing, says:
“When we first started out, we were chasing clients who weren’t the right fit for us, just to get up and running. Eventually we realised we needed to take a step back and reconnect with our purpose. We said to ourselves: 'Hold on a minute, why are we doing what we do? We didn’t start out to work this way, we have certain values to uphold, and these have become lost.' We’re now attracting and working with clients who are the right fit for us, and we are right for them.”
We're excited to be launching a new programme for founders and business leaders, based around a fire in the wild.
We're fusing reflection with immersive nature activities to help you reconnect your business with your values and your purpose. It's called Campfire Catalyst: Leading with Purpose.
It starts March 21st, in Brighton. If you'd like to join, early bird tickets available til Jan 31st.
Details here (please share!)
Author & Curator
Nigel Berman is the founder of School of the Wild.