Proven Native Wisdoms
As early as he can remember, Mike was captivated by his grandmother’s vivid narratives of how his Muscogee or "Creek" ancestors used wild plants for food and medicine. Their astonishing skill at healing deadly diseases (even illnesses that “stumped” medical science) instilled a sense of awe and respect for nature and its cycles or "patterns" of growth, rejuvenation and lasting change.
It wasn’t until his later years as a market analyst in a large corporation that he began to reflect on his ancestors’ wisdoms in a professional sense. It’s there where he gained first hand experience with the popular change efforts that became the “buzzwords” for firms that sought change and growth.
The Challenge of Managing Change
More often than not, the excitement of each new change effort simply lost steam. No matter how promising, change proved to be a struggle. Day-to-day tasks and already time-sensitive projects just couldn’t be put off. Even highly motivated employees felt compelled to push “hot” new training materials to the bottom of the stack. To make matters worse, it didn’t take long for employee enthusiasm to wane into a sense of burden with each passing management fad.
Fostering "Locally Grown" Leadership at Every Level
In the midst of the failures, there were successes. In stark contrast, most of the breakthroughs were instinctive, not the result of in-depth planning, or management decree. They simply grew out of “local” inspiration –not some far away management “think tank”. Employees felt a renewed sense of empowerment from projects that were both natural and spontaneous. Amazingly, the new "homegrown" methods didn't burden existing work; they simply emerged as a natural pattern of getting the work done. On top of that, the natural or “wild” successes had little to do with rank or position. Leaders sprang up at varied levels of the firm.
Practical Tools and Workshops that Get Results
It was a monumental discovery! The parallels were no less than revolutionary. Nature’s “honest-to-goodness” pattern or "blueprint" for growth and rejuvenation was just as practical, in a modern business sense, as it had been for Mike's native ancestors. The findings revealed that effective leadership is but an invaluable expression of how the same nature in us can (and does) "heal" how we work and likewise transforms our organizations.