How does forest immersion promote business innovation?

Forest immersion for business innovation

One of the biggest competitive advantages any organisation can foster is its capacity to innovate… 

motilium canada zero in To generate better ideas than the competition and to execute them quickly.

However innovative and competitive our businesses already are, there’s never room for complacency. 

Who knows what our competitors are devising behind closed doors? In business, we often don’t notice we’re being overtaken until it’s just too late. categorize misoprostol buy online Maximising innovation capacity in the here and now is always the critical issue. 

We believe that forest immersion can provide a https://mail.accentmusicstudios.com/43792-where-to-buy-calcium-carbonate-for-chalk-paint.html super-boost to any organisation’s innovative capacity.

Here’s how:

Observing nature’s processes, patterns and practices give rise to elegant solutions to complex problems. This is a practise often referred to as biomimicry. 

The natural world is certainly worth imitating due to its special gift for creative economy: buy viagra correct doing more, better, with less. 

As Leonardo Da Vinci one of history’s most badass innovators put it: “Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.” Da Vinci himself based his numerous designs and inventions on observations of nature and anatomy. 

His studies of birds produced his ideas about how to create “flying machines,” and it was those very ideas that the Wright brothers developed to invent the aeroplane. 

Another much-loved example of biomimicry’s role in innovation is that it was restasis eye drops price аct noticing the micro-spurs on the burs that stuck to his dog’s fur after walkies, (sadly there’s no record of his dog’s name!) that led George de Mestral to invent Velcro. 

More recently, in the emerging field of biosolar energy, for example, innovators are learning how to produce electricity using the photosynthetic processes of the algae that jellyfish feed on. This type of innovation is pretty inspiring to us. 

Immersing yourself in the forest is easier said than done – you can be in the wood and still feel completely in your own thoughts and distracted by the flow of your own emotions. 

Sometimes it’s hard to break down the barrier of yourself and make real contact with the ‘more than human’ world and all the information it holds. 

It’s not just going for a walk. 

Though for some people it can come naturally, feeling deeply connected with nature, but for the majority, it’s not that easy. True forest immersion is more reliably achieved for most people when it’s guided. 

What hacks might the natural world be waiting to share with your business?

Our forest immersion is a structured, guided process that will reliably get your team into deep and direct connection with nature and ready to receive its advice.

To find out more about how forest immersion could promote innovation in your business, contact us today.

What is eco wellness and how it can strengthen your business?

Eco Wellness Banner

“encompasses a sense of appreciation, respect, and awe of nature that can contribute to holistic wellness.” 

That’s a definition of eco wellness taken from the Journal of Humanistic Counselling.

Sounds nice enough, perhaps a bit hippy, even. 

Our question is, how exactly can eco wellness –  having appreciation, respect, and awe for nature – strengthen a business? 

Whatever products and services a business develops and brings to market, as we haven’t quite yet arrived in the novocene era, (an excellent book by Professor James Lovelock, by the way), the chances are, there are some human beings involved in that process. 

Without human hard-work, problem-solving, insight and imagination, these products and services wouldn’t exist. 

When the people working in your business have appreciation, respect and awe for nature, some excellent business outcomes follow.

Appreciation 

To appreciate anything, we have to recognise its good qualities and seek to understand it on some level. And to recognise most things, we actually need to look for them. 

But when we are stuck on smart technology 24/7, having our attention very effectively harvested by big data driven giants, then the processes of the natural world, and the genius and elegance of those processes pass us by completely. 

We can’t see them, let alone appreciate them. And we certainly can’t learn from them. 

Nature is a terrific problem solver and prodigious engineer. It’s as if a genius has left notebooks stuffed full of insights and short-cuts lying around for us to pick up and consult, but we can’t see them.

There’s a nice term for taking practical inspiration from nature: ‘biomimicry’. Biomimicry is defined as this:

“The production and design of structures, systems and materials that are modelled on biological entities and processes.” 

Put simply, appreciating nature gives us clues about clever ways to improve our products, services and the way we work.

Respect

Think about a person you know that you have untold respect for – perhaps an old mentor or associate, maybe a family member or a friend. Someone whose way of being in the world, whose character you sincerely admire. 

Really think about them for a moment. 

As you are thinking of that person, you might notice that the respect is not actually a thought, it’s more of a heartfelt feeling. 

And a feeling of respect for the natural world is evidently in short supply when it comes to us humans. I’m not going to go all Extinction Rebellion on you here, but (nearly) all of us know the score. 

Our stewardship of the planet is not looking great right now! 

On an individual level, so many of our lives are set up in such a way that we have such little meaningful contact with the natural world, that although we might actively be making small efforts not to disrespect nature (doing the weekly recycling, not pouring hazardous waste into rivers for laughs), we don’t have all that much heartfelt feeling of respect for it either. 

We’re too detached to feel it.

When you incorporate eco wellness into your business through staff training and away days, you are creating the felt connection with the natural world that true respect stems from. 

When your team and your organisation has got that respect for nature growing within it, you will inevitably become a more environmentally responsible and sustainable business. 

You will feel the need to. 

You won’t do it out of some dull, box-ticking sense of duty. It will just naturally happen. 

And businesses that sincerely give a crap about the health of the natural environment are the only businesses fit for the future.

Awe

Whether it is the feeling of being physically gripped by amazement as you watch a thunderstorm flashing across the sky or the goosebumps that a favourite piece of music sends up the back of your neck, awe, like respect, is more of a feeling than a thought. 

Awe is closely linked to appreciating beauty and having a strong sense of being connected to a mysterious bigger picture that exceeds the boundaries of our own little personal identity.

Feelings of awe are so abundant when we allow ourselves to come into strong contact with the natural world. 

When we experience more awe, our personal insecurities and petty preoccupations loosen their grip on us, and allow more room for creativity, feelings of peace and a sense of wide possibilities that coaxes us away from the mechanistic thinking that stifles innovation. 

In other words, more awe in your team puts more awesome into your business outcomes.

Although the link between eco-wellness and business success might not be immediately obvious. It’s certainly a new thing in the learning and development mainstream. 

But once you get your head round it, there really are some important ways that strengthening the connection between your team with the natural world will strengthen your business.

Harness the power of eco wellness to strengthen your business, drop us a line today, we’d love to hear from you. 

How Forest Training can Benefit your Organisation: Containment

Forest Training Banner

Beyond being a wholesome new take on the obligatory team away-day, not to mention a refreshing alternative to paint-balling, how exactly can forest training benefit your organisation?

The concept of ‘containment’ is a useful one for explaining how forest training benefits organisations, and it is a concept taken from the domain of psychotherapy.

Containment names the space between a client and a therapist. 

For the therapeutic interaction to be a productive one, it is essential for there to be a sense of trust or safety preserved in that space. This allows the space to ‘hold’ the client, so they can move through emotions, gather insights and make positive behavioural adjustments in a comfortable and effective way.

Sounds good, huh?

In typical group working environments though, where competing priorities and demands often pull the attention and energy of the team in different directions, a sense of containment can sometimes be compromised. 

In some instances, like when there is an organisational culture of blame, a sense of containment could be said to be lacking altogether. 

Without enough containment, team members’ and the entire organisation’s ability to learn, grow and successfully adapt to environmental challenges is weakened.

Here’s a few reasons why:

  • If there’s not enough containment in the work environment, there’s likely to be an increase in negative emotions experienced by the team. Barbara Fredrickson’s ‘Broaden and Build Theory of Positive Emotion’ describes how negative emotions and the behaviours that they give rise to, can hamper resourcefulness, creativity and the ability to problem-solve – all of which are fundamental to business (and personal) success. 
  • Without a sense of sufficient environmental support, team members are less likely to persevere in the face of adversity.
  • In a low-containment environment where there is insufficient ‘head-room’ to digest difficult experiences. This means that less learning will occur and fewer improvements will be made.

A major factor in why forest training benefits organisations is that when teams spend facilitated time in nature, as a group and as individuals, they experience the creation of a strong container and a felt sense of containment. 

Clients’ consistently report that our forest leadership programme brings a sense of being anchored and secure. This leads to:

  • Insights into organisational challenges faced and ways to overcome them.
  • Enhanced communication.
  • Increased awareness around effective group working.
  • Strengthening the team’s cohesion and their ability to ‘pull together’.

Learn more about how our Forest Leadership Programme here. We could deliver something unforgettable for your next team away day. Speak to one of the team – you can contact us here.

How Forest Leadership Training Improves Team Relationships

Forest Leadership Training Banner

It’s early days, but we’re happy to report that our Forest Leadership approach to leadership training is proving to be a bit of a hit with those who’ve attended!

And as we roll out our Forest Leadership training programmes, we’re listening closely to feedback about what people are taking away from the experience. 

One theme that keeps coming up is the impact this approach is having on relationships. Some have described the impact on their relationships with co-workers in the team as ‘grounding’ and a few have mentioned a calming effect it’s been having on their internal communications. Here’s what one participant had to say:

“I feel like when I am talking with the others now and we’re making decisions, it’s feeling a bit slower, in a good way… just more considered maybe.” – Beccy, delegate from  G.C.W

Forest Leadership Training

We’re not exactly sure of why bringing nature in to act almost as a ‘co-trainer’ on these forest leadership development training sessions has this effect. 

Perhaps it has something to do with reductions in levels of cortisol that delegates experience, as we know from the research into the phytoncide chemicals that trees give off inevitably reduce the levels of stress-hormones we have within our bodies. 

When we feel less stressed, it stands to reason that we may become less defensive and better at listening to others. 

Another reason may be that because the Forest Leadership training somehow strengthens our awareness of being a part of a greater whole, not just in terms of how we relate to the ‘more than human world’, i.e. nature, but also in terms of our feeling of belonging and value among our colleagues, and within our wider organisations.

It could even be that when we spend time away from our ‘discursive minds’.

By that I mean stepping away from processing our thinking just through the medium of language, other more intuitive senses are able to step up and develop, enhancing our ability to read the complexities and subtleties of people and situations, and respond to them with more sensitivity and skill.

Whatever the reason, or reasons, trying to work out theories to explain why this Forest Leadership training approach works is almost as fun as bringing teams out into nature and watching them experience its effects first hand!

We’ll just keep combing over the feedback and sharing our musings as we learn!

If you’re interested in taking your team out to experience some Forest Leadership development training (and all its benefits), or would just like to know a bit more about it, give us a call on the office line: 0117 9427856 or drop us an email: info@wearelightbox.co.uk.

Nature’s Nebuliser – Why spending time in the forest is good for you

If you go down to the woods today… (and spend two hours there)…. you’re sure of a a big surprise. Why are we reciting Teddy Bear’s Picnic?

Nature Nebuliser

Because of some research with big implications that we just don’t think is known about widely enough.

In March, lucky Light Box staff were in Japan interviewing medical researchers and forerunners in a field known as ‘Forest Medicine.’

One of the many interesting things that we learnt was what ‘phytoncides’ do to humans. These are the plant chemicals that trees release into the air to protect themselves from bacteria, insects and fungi. They also act as signals that communicate with other tress.

Within these phytoncides are ‘terpenes’; nice smelling things with names like D-limonene (smells lemony), Alpha and Beta-pinene (smells piney) and Camphene (smells like turpentine).

It turns out that these chemicals in woodland air, if inhaled for just a couple of hours, affect human health, both physical and mental and cause:

  • Increased NK cells and activity (Natural Killer cells are white blood cells that attack viruses and cancers).
  • Increased activity of anti-cancer proteins
  • Decreased stress hormones
  • Lowered blood pressure
  • Decreased negative emotion
  • Elevation of mood
  • Increased parasympathetic nervous system activity (causing states of relaxation)

The effects are both powerful and long-lasting – NK cell levels and activity remain elevated a whole month after a single visit to the woods, and research from the Department of Psychiatry at Japan’s Mie University shows D-limonene to be more effective than antidepressants.

Wow.

So next time you visit some woods, while you breathe in that air, remember to really enjoy it and imagine all those terpenes getting drawn down into your lungs, like a big dose of nature’s nebuliser.

And keep an eye out for Light Box’s Forest Leadership Development training coming in 2020. Any questions? You can click here to contact us.