America has a deep history of pioneering and globally impactful inventions, from Thomas Edison’s electric lightbulb in 1879 to Wright’s aeroplane in 1903, or indeed Microsoft in 1975. After my summer months spent in Colorado I acknowledged that once again they appear to be further advanced in their understanding of how the natural world can impact the world of business. The time I spent in Colorado really opened my eyes as to the receptiveness in the States to new and revolutionary ideas, in a way that
is only at the beginning of its journey here in the United Kingdom.
The use of nature, NQ (The Nature Factor), our instincts (N-Stinctive Intelligence) is the missing fourth pillar of the SQ, IQ and EQ formula for success in business and in life. The States may be more perceptive to this idea because their land is so vast and in many ways untamed. In Colorado, in particular, it is still possible to meet a brown bear whilst putting out the rubbish, and still possible to encounter a mountain lion on your hiking trail! The people and contacts I was lucky enough to meet on my trip, live side by side with nature and are much more attuned to the impact of their natural environment. The winters are harsh and sometimes impenetrable. The seasons are highly relevant to how life is lived and how plans are
made due to their extreme impact, with wind and snowstorms that threaten to cut off your food and water supplies for days at a time.
I introduced my concepts and ideas to a cross-section of different American people, their understanding of my work with Natural Intelligence (NQ) was immediate and total. There was no need to convince or explain to anyone my view that we should be looking to nature for solutions, that by watching nature we can untangle some of our most intricate and complex problems in the workplace. They have heard of Equine facilitated leadership, it is a widespread concept, many people work with horses and therapy and it is widely accepted in many Universities including Stanford Medical school.
In the UK we face more of a challenge and uphill battle with the introduction of these ideas. Our cousins across the water are “early adopters”. Take for example the report recently from Cass business school –
Four common mistakes that can ruin your chances in a job interview – the mistakes are all due to lack of awareness – four common errors: a failure of perspective-taking, narcissism, hubris and humble bragging. All areas where we are unaware of our impact on others, working or even walking with nature can heighten our awareness of our personal impact.
These kinds of lessons are hard to process in a classroom environment. Whereas in a field, in nature, with horses, we can offer living metaphors that stick with the learner for continued and permanent references in their lives. One thing I’m looking to do now is to help the Business schools and Universities across the UK that are being left behind in terms of effective business and leadership coaching. They need to be brave and pioneering in this clearly and excitingly fast-moving field.