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Book review: Leading by Nature by Giles Hutchins

Leading by Nature. The process of becoming a regenerative leader by Giles Hutchins

To be future-fit, every organisation will need to embrace the way of thinking and acting outlined in this book.  Leading by Nature is comprehensive in its approach, with theory, stages of the regenerative journey, and references to specific tools that Giles recommends when working with leaders and teams. It’s a must-have manual for any leader seeking the next phase on their journey of self and organisational development.

The book demonstrates how a regenerative, nature-inspired transition will require both the inner and outer natures of leaders and their teams to be addressed. Leadership consciousness must shift from achiever to regenerative.  Case studies share where leaders are breaking new ground, transforming their organisations for people, planet and purpose will give confidence to any leader considering embarking on this journey.

Giles does not shy away from the enormity of the task, that there will be no shortcuts in this transition, and that leaders must step into the discomfort that embracing complexity brings, becoming facilitators and enablers of teams who may or may not want more autonomy, and creating the conditions conducive to new and exciting evolutions, be that in products, services or ways of working.

Nature shows us that tensions must occur (and even be encouraged) to ensure emergence, adaptability and evolution. For the leader that may seem difficult to manage, but Giles shares insights and tools for allowing that to happen.

Bringing us back to nature, he states “The other side of all this complexity is that beautiful simplicity. Let’s work the way life works!”. Indeed we must trust that this process works because it has served us for 3.8billion years of life so far.

Accepting a worldview shift from machine to living-systems will be difficult, but the rewards are huge.  Just one springs to mind – the shift from parent-child relationship of ‘boss/employee’ to parent-parent relationship in the living-systems organisation. Just imagine the transformation if every employee were empowered as part of a decentralised and autonomous, multi-disciplinary team. Imagine the potential that would be unleashed.

Unlike some authors in the regenerative sphere, Giles keeps the references to living systems alive in every stage of the book, allowing reader to see their importance and relevance. It is this constant reference to living systems that will ensure that an organisation succeeds on their journey even when times are difficult.

I highly recommend this to anyone – leader or employee who sees that the current business systems aren’t working, either for people or for the other living beings we share our planet with, and wants to know what they can do about it.

You can find out more about Giles work here

You can buy the book on Amazon UK here

Review by Sarah Spencer, Think like a Tree, 7 August 2022

To learn more about Think like a Tree’s regenerative business courses take a look at the website.

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