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The Systems View of Life

The Systems View of LifeBook Review

The Systems View of Life
By Fritjof Capra and Pier Luigi Luisi

This book argues convincingly for a change of thinking from the fragmentary reductionism of popular science (what we learned at school) to integrated thinking in terms of systems. We learn how life has evolved and that living systems (including us) have co-evolved through relationship. Failure to grasp this connectedness is leading humanity towards its demise which is countered by proposals for unifying the web of life.

High Trenhouse Management Centre teams up with Land Rover Experience

High Trenhouse Management Centre teams up with Land Rover Experience

High Trenhouse in the heart of the Yorkshire Dales provides ‘exclusive use’ for business or leisure: a quality environment, with privacy, seclusion and supportive discreet service. The exceptional facilities include 2 self-contained buildings with well-equipped conference and meeting rooms. Enjoy superb hospitality, beautiful natural landscape, splendid isolation and in a central UK location with easy access.

Land Rover Experience is at the ready to collect and return guests from Skipton railway station or Leeds or Manchester airport. Also they are offering a full program of team exercises on Malham Moor, Dales Tours or Geo-caching team challenges. This excellent offering can enhance any program at any time of year. They have 2 Open Days planned to experience High Trenhouse and Land Rover Experience working together on Thursday 1st June and Friday 14th July. This is a perfect opportunity for anyone interested in exploring the very best venue for their company’s future strategic planning, leadership or team building events

Finding Earth, Finding Soul – The invisible path to authentic leadership

Finding Earth, Finding Soul   The invisible path to authentic leadershipBook Review
Finding Earth, Finding Soul – The invisible path to authentic leadership

By Tim Macartney Green Books 2007
Tim Macartney’s book is one man’s testimony to the need for find one’s inner wisdom and to use that to shape your life circumstances to the service of the greater good of the earth. He makes a strong plea for a different way of being and, through his own experience shows how that applies to the work of leadership. Is authenticity anything less than this?

Challenge and Opportunity – Be Prepared!

Challenge and Opportunity   Be Prepared!

With the referendum decision for the UK to leave the EU we are embarking on a new era. Nobody knows what is to come but the early days will surely see the shifting of tectonic plates in the business world. Old structures will crumble and we will need to create new ones to fit the changed circumstances. Make sure you are geared up to make the most of the opportunities thrown up by the chaos.

How should we prepare? How can we be sure we are fit for this new future? How can we prepare ourselves and our organisations to thrive in the new uncertainty?

Take time out to think about what lies ahead and to prepare and strengthen your organisation. Two days at High Trenhouse will prove to be a sound investment in your future.

This must be the ideal time to think through various possible scenarios for your organisation. Scenario thinking opens your mind to new possibilities so that you are able to recognise opportunities when they arise. It prepares your team to cope with the unforeseeable and improves their capability. Out of it will emerge new strategies and the people to deliver them.

Bring your trusted consultants or let us work with you to develop a developmental programme that will give you confidence when many around you are floundering, that yours will be a story of success.

Leading Innovation, Creativity and Enterprise by Peter Cook

Leading Innovation, Creativity and Enterprise by Peter CookBook Review
Leading Innovation, Creativity and Enterprise by Peter Cook. Published by Bloomsbury 2016

Peter Cook is a talented jazz musician who brings his love of improvisation into his observations of creativity applied in organisations to drive competitive innovation. This well-written and engaging book is full of useful know-how. The narrative is copiously illustrated with anecdotes and mini case-studies that bring the topic to life. As the title states, the book links leadership to enterprise through creativity and innovation; a continuum of fresh thinking that will benefit anyone in organisation and in life.

Green the landscape and stop the floods

On Malham Moor, at the very source of the river Aire, we are comfortably above flood level and our sympathies go out to all the people downstream who are suffering the effects of climate change. It has always been obvious to us that draining the uplands carries water to downstream cities all the faster. The current widespread floods will have alerted many to the need for more trees on the uplands; they absorb water and their roots hold the soil. Would it not make sense to use a bit of Quantitative Easing to employ young people to plant millions of trees that would save the cities and create a new industry. Do politicians have any foresight?

At High Trenhouse people have sponsored tree planting over the years to reduce their carbon footprint and we are delighted to be described as ‘the place in the wood’. Happily we have no more room, so we recommend now that you sponsor trees through the Yorkshire Dales Millennium Trust, Sponsoring a tree makes an ideal gift or fitting memento!

Reinventing Organisations

Reinventing OrganisationsLaloux spells out a whole system for understanding the evolution of organisations and describes actual case studies of those he sees as being at the leading edge. Although rather long the book has a wealth of ideas and information of interest to everyone in management today. This is an important book. Read full review.

Benefits of High Trenhouse Podcast

On Thursday 24 September 2015, our proprietor, John Varney was interviewed about the benefits of High Trenhouse as a venue, on BCB Radio by presenters, Alan Keeling and Tina Watkin. For all who missed it, fear not! You can listen again on If you are short of time, John’s interview starts 7.25 minutes into the show.

When someone meets themself

When someone meets themselfI used to think that it was great when people staying at High Trenhouse took the opportunity to go out and encounter raw nature. Then I discovered that what sometimes happened was not that they encountered nature, so much as that nature brought them into contact with themselves.

We are embedded in the fabric of society and these days society sees itself as other than nature. Our history and culture and language, our upbringing and everything about our modern lifestyle alienate us from our relationship with life on earth. It is quite something to re-discover our one-ness with nature.

“High Trenhouse offers perfect facilities for a retreat.  Every human need is effortlessly catered for so real reflection can occur.”

Lauren Deere – Birmingham Museums Trust
Participant on the Museums and Resilient Leadership programme

So when we pause in our onward rush, when we allow ourselves to slow down, when circumstances still our minds and open our perceptions, then something different can happen. It is not something we can do. It is something we can allow or invite.

When the time and circumstances permit, a simple walk outdoors might be enough. Some clients have their participants spend time on the hillside. As the artificiality of daily activity falls away, as inner turmoil stills, as perceptions open up, you eventually get to meet yourself.

You are beautiful.
You are awesome.
There is no greater gift than this.

Nature smiles on us

Nature smiles on us if only we can be in tune. After all we are naturally part of nature. These days we, as a society, have alienated ourselves, largely because of our fragmentary way of thinking, that causes us to see everything as separate from everything else, when it might otherwise be seen that everything is connected with everything. Our way of knowing (our epistemology) shapes the world we live in.

When we allow our true self to surface and to encounter whatever is before us, only then might we encounter a different world and hence a different self. It happens more than we recognise or acknowledge. Those unguarded moments when we encounter the beauty of nature or the joy of living. Moments when we really see a flower or an insect or some play of nature with light in the mist or the drowning of puddles in a rainstorm or we wonder at the stars on a clear night.

For myself, I recall discovering that it was always worth the effort to leave the comfort of my sleeping bag and brave the elements in the hills, because nature would surprise me. In my unguarded moments she would present an unexpected vista or bring before me a deer or share some other gift. That discovery was itself a gift, which has stood me in good stead ever since. It is always worth making an effort to meet nature.

I would go further and say that without direct contact with the physical world “out there”, as unspoiled and natural as we can find, we are ourselves diminished.

As we experience a new springtime, make the opportunity to meet yourself in nature. A few moments is all it takes, in the right place, in the right state.