Monday, 19 May 2014

The outdoors is my preference for a classroom

My job title of "Senior Explorer" might surprise those who expect the more formal Director, or President, or Consultant - but it more accurately explains what I do.  I tend not to direct, preside or consult - but I do explore... Most importantly, I am spending more and more of my time with my clients in the wonderful classroom called the outdoors. It's a marvelous antidote to Powerpoint, fluorescent lighting, stale air and aching backs.

Sometimes a short walk around the grounds of the hospital is enough, or a half hour stroll through the neighbouring streets can get the minds shifting into another gear. Or we can be a bit more ambitious and go for a walk into the Chiltern Hills or around the grounds of a National Trust property where I can lead a small group through some high level and detail of analogies in organisational change. There's a great deal to learn from plants, insects, the weather, trees etc. - and that's before the bodies have loosened up and the brains have been given permission to be a bit more creative.

Appleacre Adventures is a division of my company. If you're feeling really adventurous I can lead you on a two week expedition through the desert in Namibia - or maybe an overnighter on canal boat reflecting on the large scale change theory and practice of the Victorians and the applicability of their principles for the public sector in 21st Britain will suffice for you... Or maybe you'd prefer a few hours of guided personal reflection "on the hoof"?

What I've learnt is that outdoors, the quality of the learning and the radicalness of the thinking is significantly increased.  And it's not just a walk - for those of you who know me - I've invested a great deal in ensuring I understand how to leverage the benefits of outdoor learning.

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