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Accessing the Mind of Nature (Part One)

May 19, 2015

We are in the midst of an evolutionary step change in how we operate and organise: a shift from linear, mechanistic, control-based modes toward living, emergent, self-organising, life-affirming ways. This shift demands a letting-go of old, ingrained ways of being and doing and a letting-come of fresh (yet also timeless) ways found within the Mind of Nature. This is a shift in human consciousness no less.

‘The major problems in the world are the results of the difference between how Nature works and the way people think’ – Gregory Bateson

As I have said earlier in Steps Towards A Deeper Ecology of Business, our dominant cultural narrative (mythos) and its organisational logic (logos) is transforming right before our very eyes.  Amid the stresses and strains of the every-day we may not always sense this seismic transformation or be aware of how much is actually shifting within and all around us. And such times of change inevitably invoke fear and denial. Clinging to the tried-and-tested safety of the status quo is a quite natural reaction, yet it only delays the inevitable, in fact it creates greater turbulence ahead as eddies and undercurrents of these transforming seas build up around us as we hold-on rather than learning to sail the stormy seas.

‘Proposals for transformational change will be derided and, when they gain traction, resisted at every turn. It is true but too easy to say that the resistance will come from entrenched interests. It will come from ourselves. We are the consumers and the employees, and we are easily seduced. – James Gustave Speth

We now have evidence of a variety of organisations throughout the world successfully putting into practice new ways that challenge the out-dated, yet still dominant, paradigm of top-down command-and-control hierarchies and short-termist KPI obsessed cultures, as well as the trend towards resilient, optimising, adaptive, systems-based, values-led, regenerative businesses inspired by nature (see Firms of the Future – businesses inspired by nature).

We know that organisations, communities, cultures and socio-economics of the future need to be not just inspired by but also in harmony with Nature.  So what does this mean for you and me?  The good news is that it means becoming more alive, authentic, creative, playful and in love.

Otto Sharmer and Katrin Kaufer in Leading from the Emerging Future articulate some principles of emerging organisations and ecosystems: openness, transparency, sharing, intention, holding space, conversation, awareness (from ego to ecological awareness), commons, playfulness, diversity and symbiosis. These living, emergent soulful organisations are safe places for us to let-go of our ego-masks and be our selves. Our work contributes to our personal growth rather than stunting us.

There are time honored practices and techniques we can learn to integrate into our daily lives to help us catalyze this shift in our ways of thinking, feeling, intuiting and relating in business and beyond.

On 1st July at Ashridge Business School, I will be facilitating a workshop on Steps Towards A Deeper Ecology of Business to:

  • Discuss the profound shifts afoot in business and beyond and explore how these relate to our ways of leading and living in volatile times.
  • Assist leaders, managers and change agents in catalysing and sustaining transformation.
  • Experience and embody the Mind of Nature, enabling us to be more effective in transforming our organisations.
  • Explore ways of applying this deeper awareness to our sense of purpose, organisational culture and ways of working.
  • Undertake transformational practices that can form part of our daily lives, including post-workshop content and network.

To book your place (cost of £200 including lunch, etc.), email Victoria.brown@ashridge.org.uk  , places are limited so please book early to avoid disappointment.

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