The Power of Nature when Leading Change by Florine van Wulfften Palthe

Throughout our evolutions, we’ve spent 99.9% of our time in nature. Nowadays, we can say that the average working professional maybe (if they’re lucky!), spends 5-10% of their time in nature. The rest of their time is spent inside offices, homes, behind screens, in bars or restaurants. 

Research shows that our psychology is still adapted to ‘spending time in nature’. This means that during every day live, a feeling of comfort can be achieved if our rhythms are synchronized with those of the environment. As a result of this, being in nature increases health, happiness and creativity. 

While taking a walk in the park might not feel ‘effective’ or ‘productive’ when you think of it in the first place, remember what kind of bigger effect spending 30min can have on your health, happiness and creativity.

Ok, so we spend less time in nature. But isn’t that just part of evolution? Why is it a problem?

Well first, we all know that stress, burn-outs and depression are a problem for Western societies. Just like meditation, yoga and mindfulness, being in nature can be a great healer.

Second, the earth is showing us that we can’t keep using resources like we do today. I believe that the lack of time in nature has an impact on this. How can we have a positive impact on the sustainability of this world, if we’re not at all connected with the natural world?

But there is more. On an organizational level, I see companies that don’t know how to respond to change, and more importantly: how to be the change. As well, leaders are challenged to adapt to different, more servant, leadership styles. Here’s why nature can be powerful for organizations, leaders, and individuals. After 30 minutes in nature:

  • Our hormones change, senses liven and we connect with our inner wisdom and intuition. It helps exploring our purpose and sensing into personal and organizational challenges. We are better able to act upon our intuition.
  • We open up to fresh insights, better empathize, and get perspective on our patterns. We gain perspective on stuck patterns and biases.
  • We take inspiration from nature as a living system. We experience nature's processes, systems and relationships and can apply that in our own 'living system': organizations. We take inspiration from the agility of nature.

In a time where change is happening faster than ever we need agile & servant leaders, that are able to act upon their intuition and are open to new perspectives.

While taking a walk in the park might not feel ‘effective’ or ‘productive’ when you think of it in the first place, remember what kind of bigger effect spending 30min can have on your health, happiness and creativity.

 

Note: I’m not a scientist or expert in this field, nor do I claim to be. I’m just someone who believes this is an important topic and decides to express this feeling and passion of mine :-)

Sources of inspiration:

Nature Fix, Florence Williams, Kaplan, 1993, 2001

Reposted from: https://reboost.co/news/

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Florine van Wulfften Palthe helps organizations build a culture where innovation and people thrive. Building on years of experience in coaching Lean Startup, Design Thinking, and Agile at large organizations, she now focusses on company culture as a enabler for positive and fulfilling employee and customer experiences.

Based in Boston (USA) and Amsterdam (the Netherlands), she works in different countries and industries. Being a passionate kitesurfer, surfer, hiker, and skier, Florine loves to draw from the power of nature in her work.