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Reconnecting with Nature to Fuel Business Growth


Ever stared at a stubborn problem, only to have the solution strike you after a walk, a refreshing hike in the woods, or simply just stepping outside and removing yourself from the situation? There's a reason for that. It’s not just about stepping away from the problem; it's about where you step into.

Nature has a profound effect on our minds and bodies, influencing our health, well-being, and ultimately, our professional performance. As business leaders, understanding and harnessing this connection can transform our workplace culture and fuel growth.

The Science of Nature's Impact on the Mind

Numerous studies have shown that spending time in nature reduces stress, enhances mood, and boosts cognitive function. The sights, sounds, and smells of the outdoors engage our senses in a way that refreshes our minds. This isn’t just about relaxation; it's about revitalization. For example, a study published in the Journal of Environmental Psychology found that even a brief nature walk can lead to an increase in creativity and problem-solving skills by as much as 60%.

Integrating these natural boosts into our work environments isn't just beneficial; it's necessary. In a world where business challenges are becoming more complex and demanding, creating a workplace culture that encourages stepping into nature can provide our teams with a competitive edge.

Risk Management Through Adventure

Adventure and nature go hand in hand. By embracing outdoor activities, we can cultivate a culture that is more adept at risk management. Engaging in outdoor adventures requires assessing situations, making decisions with incomplete information, and stepping out of comfort zones—skills that are directly transferable to the business world.

Take, for instance, the team that I took to Harrison Lake in January, or the team I took to Lake Tahoe in February. We integrated outdoor activities so that we could tackle a challenging activities together— from navigating diverse trails to relying on one another amidst nature's unpredictability— we broke down conventional workplace barriers. These expeditions were more than just team-building; they were lessons in adaptability, trust, and collective problem-solving. As the teams faced and overcame these natural obstacles together, they not only bonded but also mirrored these dynamics in their approach to business challenges, becoming more cohesive and pragmatic in managing risks and solving problems.

Overcoming Fear by Stepping Outside

Fear is a natural response to the unknown, but it can also be a significant barrier togrowth. Nature teaches us that stepping into unfamiliar territory, though intimidating, can lead to incredible discoveries. Regular exposure to outdoor challenges, from navigating new trails to scaling mountains, can help individuals and teams build resilience and courage.

This translates back to the workplace, encouraging a culture where fears and challenges are faced head-on, not avoided. It's about building a mindset that views obstacles as opportunities for growth, inspired by the limitless possibilities that nature presents.

Transforming Your Workplace Culture

Creating a work environment that mirrors the invigorating effects of nature starts with small, intentional steps. Here are some easy steps you can take to start the process:

  1. Encourage walking meetings to let ideas flow more freely. 
  2. Organize meetings to include activities in natural settings, prior to or after the meeting. For example, why not go for a quick walk around the block? 
  3. Challenge your teams to step out of their usual environments and mindsets for meetings. Let them take their meetings on the balcony, rooftop, to a local park. 
  4. Consider quarterly/ annual retreats focused on adventure (getting people out of their comfort zone) and reflection in nature, reinforcing the bond between personal well-being and professional development. Whilst still making the same if not better decisions in your strategic meetings over the retreat. 

Reconnecting with nature is more than a retreat from the workplace; it's a strategic approach to enhancing business growth. By weaving the restorative and invigorating effects of the natural world into our work culture, we unlock a well of creativity, resilience, and innovative thinking. It’s time to step outside—not just for a breath of fresh air but for the fresh perspectives and boundless opportunities that nature can show us, when we’re outside of the office.

If you need some help understanding how your can weave these two worlds together, connect with me today.

Chris Hardwick Services:

Meet Chris Hardwick

Executive Business Coach

For over 20 years I've been helping entrepreneurs and business leaders to realize their dreams and achieve success.

As an entrepreneur, world traveler, adventurer, and motivator, I lead by example. My goal is to inspire you with my passion for life, success and happiness.

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