The wonder of winter wheat
Walking in the brisk cold this morning although loving the clarity of the air and the vistas brought by shed leaves my usual creative mind wanderings were distracted as I longed for the colours of fall . As I rounded the pond, suddenly recently planted fields had overnight become rolling hills of verdant green! Winter wheat was now sprouting and happily flourishing in the cool weather.
Suddenly the volume on my thinking turned up! I instantly thought if the wheat can find life and colour on this dull day I certainly can too!
I was reminded right then of the power novelty and beauty can bring to thinking that has become mundane and dull. Leaders use this effect when they go offsite on advances (I never understood why teams went out to retreat) to plan or address a critical issue. Nature had provided me a reminder that this boost of creativity and energy can be added to each day. Like nature we can plant the seeds early for the tough times, in our world this might be planning a gathering or celebration after a tough season or issue is completed. Mother Nature also provides those drops of dew, sunsets spontaneously as well. Imagine your union entering a room where the Black Eyed Peas were in the background singing “It’s going to be to be a great great night” or an unhappy customer greeted by tea served by you in small Chinese cups with matching pot!
How might we intentionally learn from nature and insert the power of surprise into our leadership? Here are some ideas would love to hear yours!!!
1 Try starting your meetings with an interesting quote ( all who wander are not necessarily lost or be the change you want to see in the world)and have people discuss how that might apply to their leadership or the issue at hand .
2 Pay attention to your office as context- does it inspire? Does it speak to who you are as a leader? As an organization? Recently in a work place struggling with getting into relationships I noticed right in my line of site across from a leader who could not seem to get into the types of conversations that would help her, two notices one saying “You don’t have to be crazy to work here … we teach you” and the other one a count- down to retirement.
3.Have people stand up and great each other like long lost friends and see the energy and connection soar at the start of a tough meeting
4.Change the conversation by changing your geography -go for a walk with a colleague or employee who wants to discuss an issue
5. Start a conga line from your office calling out what you are celebrating and asking others to join in the fun instead of a congratulatory email or cake
6. Put an assortment of fresh flowers on your desk. Throughout the day give them to those who come to see you with a personal comment on why their presence is so reflected in that flower.
7. Frame something you love and put it on your wall – replace cork boards with art or add an inspirational or provocative phrase or picture.
8. Try coaching as a way to help someone who is stuck in the drab find their own Winter Wheat and turn up their relationship and creativity volume!

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