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The Logic of Life applied to Leadership: Regenerative Leadership

September 11, 2019

There is a metamorphosis in our midst. Profound shifts are affecting the way we work, how and why we do things, and the purpose and meaning we bring to our organisations, social systems and wider civilisation. It is simultaneously both an exciting yet daunting time to be life, when so much we thought we knew is up for questioning, and the old ways crumble to reveal new pathways as yet untested, rough and ready, yet full of learning and liberation.

The good news is – we can learn from the living systems within and all around us when embarking on this metamorphic moment, as nature has been dealing with such transformation for billions of years.

“True wisdom consists in not departing from nature, but in molding our conduct according to her laws and model.” Seneca, philosopher

In fact, the next-stage leadership paradigm is rooted in what we (the authors of Regenerative Leadership, Giles Hutchins and Laura Storm) refer to as ‘the logic of life’ – the way nature works.

Many leaders often look a bit puzzled when we proclaim that the new leadership paradigm has to be based on the Logic of Life and rooted in the wisdom of nature. They question what we mean by rooted in the wisdom of nature.

After all, what could humans possibly learn from the forests, the ants, the fungi, or the changing seasons? Is the wisdom of nature just more fluffy hippy-dippy stuff, or is it grounded in real insight, evidence, examples, science, and research? How does it apply to organizations like mine?

“Termites and other social insects differ from us in many ways, but, like us, they are part of superorganisms, and they remain an excellent guide to understanding the forces that shape our societies.”  Tim Flannery, scientist

While there is immense insight we can glean from understanding living-systems in the natural world around us, living-systems logic is not limited to biomimicry or bio-inspired insights (whether it be from the ant colony, termite mound, mycelium networks under foot, or swarm behavior of bees, for instance).

Regenerative Leadership draw upon the multi-disciplinary fields of complexity theory, cybernetics, developmental psychology, systems theory, holistic science, and more. For sure, we take learning from nature’s ways of communicating, evolving and collaborating that have been honed over billions of years of evolution, and we combine this with recent findings about energy flows in complex adaptive systems, detailed studies on adult developmental growth within organizations, feedback loops within systems dynamics, and more. All of this contributes to a rich picture of how we view the organization-as-living-system that thrives through messy human relationships nested within systems upon systems of life.

‘Those who flow as life flows know they need no other force.’ – Lao Tzu, ancient philosopher

Nature has a profound effect on our species. Simply by being in nature – or even looking at images of nature – our nervous system regenerates, hormone-secretion changes, brain-wave frequencies alter, our mood lifts, as does our capacity for creativity and empathy.

The next evolutionary step for human-kind is to connect what we have learned and adapted during the Scientific, Industrial and Technological Revolutions with what we can learn from nature’s wisdom. That is to say, integrate mechanistic analysis and advanced technological innovations with nature’s insights and ecosystemic awareness. To incorporate the latter, we must renew how we engage with ourselves, each other, and the world around us. We must reclaim our own inner nature (our sense of self) and the connection to our outer nature (the natural habitat around us). We must reclaim our humanity and restructure our ways of living, our societies, and our organizations to be based on the Logic of Life.

The ancient knowing of our shamanic heritage is now being revisited and renewed in our contemporary language of ecosystemic awareness, which draws upon an inner-outer attunement and an opening-up to the scientific discoveries of a Living Systems Field – a field that pervades reality and within which all of life is interconnected. Adult Developmental Psychology recognizes this return as the shift from Tier 1 to Tier 2 consciousness, where at a higher level of consciousness we are capable of cultivating empathy with and reverence for the interconnectedness of all life.

We make no argument here to start from scratch or go back into the woods and live in huts as hunter gatherers. No, not at all. What we are asking of Regenerative Leaders is to reclaim a way of living that draws on ancient understanding and nature’s wisdom, and integrate this with our modern scientific findings and technological inventions.


This is what we unpack in Regenerative Leadership – a DNA framework, tools, case studies, deep dives, practices and examples to help you the leader, change agent and practitioner in your organisation and social system catalyze this necessary shift in human consciousness now unfolding in our midst.

The time has come to activate the Logic of Life!

Giles Hutchins & Laura Storm are co-authors of Regenerative Leadership, see here some feedback on the book from specialists who have read it:


The clarity, inspiration, synergy and wisdom of this book is breath-taking This is the must read book of 2019. I couldn’t put it down.

Dr Lynne Sedgmore CBE, former Chief Executive  of 157 Group, Centre for Excellence in Leadership


Giles and Laura bring their vast experience and deep wisdom to create an evolutionary blueprint for a sustainable future for business, people and the planet

 Richard Barrett, President of the Barrett Academy for the Advancement of Human Values


This book is full of wisdom and determination! It will inspire leaders to succeed in the 21st Century.

Tim Flannery, scientist

A must read for anyone who wants to shape a regenerative organization.

Jean-Claude Pierre, CEO Scott Bader


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