Resilience is an internal quality that enables an entity to survive and even to benefit from stress and change. It is an emergent quality of teamwork. By emergent we mean that the system as a whole has characteristics that were not there in the parts – in other words an effective team can have more resilience than any of its members.
The wholeness of a team is a function of the wholeness of the people within it. You cannot have a mature team of immature individuals so teamwork must be developmental for all involved. If we want to survive and thrive, we need to work on our own maturity and contribute to the maturity of teams. In this short article we explore these qualities as they emerge in teams and as they mature in individuals.
Read the article – published in HR Director November 2017, issue 157
Co-creative space is where people can come into relationship to make something new together. This is especially valuable when you are seriously challenged – a new team sorting out its vision, the executive developing a new sense of purpose, a project team tackling innovation, a team seeking High Performance and so on. Co-creation demands a higher level of thinking than the day job and therefore requires special conditions.
Firstly there is the physical space – ideally away from everything that supports normality – somewhere close to nature but well equipped and well serviced. In such physical space you can then develop the emotional container to enable people to drop their defenses and “play” together as equals. Once you feel secure and safe you can discover the cognitive space where diverse experience and perspectives can interact. The three kinds of space conflate as Space for co-creativity where novelty emerges. Of course you need skilled facilitation – someone who understands the psychology of creativity and can guide you towards extraordinary outcomes. For them to work in authentic space for co-creation enables them to achieve outstanding results.
This is the ambience that high Trenhouse has evolved over forty years and which you will struggle to find anywhere else. Hotels and conference venues cannot provide it because it is a specific market niche that few people understand. It makes it worth the journey and the sacrifice and yet it costs little more than your average hotel. Clients enjoy having a place to themselves; comfort without pomp, good food and wonderful seclusion. Facilitators rejoice in high levels of support and service, responsive to the needs of their programme. It works! Co-creation is more likely and more productive when given ideal conditions. Find out more
by John Varney, founder of High Trenhouse – Centre for Management Creativity
I am preparing a presentation on “Space for Co-thinking” for the business department of the Jagiellonian University of Krakow. Reflecting on how creative work has evolved at High Trenhouse during the last 40 years I have come to understand how appropriate physical space needs to be overlaid with (metaphorical) emotional space to contain relationships as well as cognitive space where ideas can co-mingle. When all the conditions are optimised, the space between them is pregnant with creativity. Then it is ready for facilitation to work its magic.
In our modern era people are being manipulated and exploited, mostly through pleasure seeking, instant gratification and the stimulation of unnecessary appetites. Because creativity occurs mostly in the space between us and is dependent on high levels of trust, attention, sharing of information, pooling of diversity and so on, conditions for co-creation have to be carefully nurtured. Creative space rarely arises by chance and most spaces in which we are expected to be productive are seriously out of balance.
For instance, you book a room for a team meeting and, although it may be technically well-equipped, it perhaps lacks a good outlook (or even a window). Because “meeting” means no more than being in the same room, the décor frustrates your attempts to focus, the furniture no doubt needs re-arranging and the room has no soul. While providing a tolerable physical environment, display surfaces may be insufficient and the confines of space will hardly allow ideas to flow. Distractions abound and the energy of your event will leak away through the bar, dining room and other channels during breaks and overnight. Getting the depth of relationship your event demands will be difficult when so many aspects of space are stacked against you.
Of course, your ingenuity and dedication may enable you to overcome many of the obstacles. However, I urge you to take note of the multiple qualities of space that make a difference. Resist the temptation to put up with whatever space your client is content to use, just because it is convenient or cheap or because it is what they always use. Discover spaces that work best for you and then insist on using them so that you can do your best work on your client’s behalf.
Forty years of being both provider and user have enabled us to produce, here at High Trenhouse, special conditions that work exceptionally well for small residential groups (e.g. management teams) seeking a quantum leap in performance. Come and see for yourself. No doubt there are other places that have some of the desirable qualities. They will be worth seeking out. When you find them please tell us so we can champion their cause.
by Jeremy Lent
This is a superb easy-to-read history of human cultures around the globe from the earliest days until now with glimpses into possible future scenarios. It stimulates an off-world perspective that might help you think afresh about society in our modern era. Strongly recommended.
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Enjoy a luxurious four-day walking holiday house-party with Jonathan Smith to guide you through some of the finest scenery in the Dales, introducing you to the rich history and folklore of this fascinating area.
Waking up to the quiet of Malham Moor and the beautiful gardens overlooking the Malham Tarn (SSSI and internationally acclaimed Ramsar site) sets the scene for each day. Well-designed guided walks ensure a most refreshing break from the rigors of everyday life.
Return to the peace and comfort of High Trenhouse to refresh and relax in good company. Your group will have exclusive use of this wonderful retreat, famed for delicious food and warm hospitality. Seclusion and safety enable you to fully appreciate the beautiful natural surroundings.
Jonathan Smith, experienced mountain guide, outdoor enthusiast and lover of the Dales, is your guide on the walks and also your host for dinner. For further information or to book click here
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.
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High Trenhouse, teaming up with Landrover Experience, is in the heart of the Yorkshire Dales providing ‘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
By Tim Macartney
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?
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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.
By Peter Cook
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.
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