Applying the techniques of connection with nature to the business environment is something that at first sight may seem distant. From the point of view of the business, the natural environment and its dynamics are generally observed as an economic resource, a source of inspiration for products, or as a letter to play in the corporate responsibility of organizations.
This perspective leads us to the polarity between the maximization of economic benefits and conservation, leaving no room for other perspectives in this relationship.
Other perspectives that in other fields have already been addressed, as in the work of Gaudí. In this particular relationship with the natural environment, Gaudí found innovative solutions to architectural challenges, creating a balance between the expression of beauty and functionality, between art and technique.
A unique perspective: nature, technique and strategic decisions
Several studies have shown the benefits for humans of spending time in natural spaces, such as reducing stress levels, boosting memory and improving mood, ultimately improving the subjective wellbeing of each individual.
Beyond these individual benefits, the practices of deep connection with nature offer us a unique opportunity to open new perspectives that also provide benefits to organizations.
A scientific investigation, published by the University of London, indicates that exposure to natural environments seems to restore some lower-level modules of the executive care system. Recent neurological studies point to a decrease in activity in the frontal cortex, where cognitive and executive functions are performed (planning, problem solving and decision making), when we are in natural environments these functions move to other areas of the brain related to empathy and pleasure, promoting more creative solutions.
In particular, in the practice of forest baths, the participants are invited to awaken the senses, the five classics and also others such as intuition. The objective is to promote the connection of each individual with the natural environment, opening a space where each participant has the opportunity to build a relationship with him, with the environment and with the rest of the participants.
A unique and personal place where you can experience different experiences, how to reflect on nature and its processes, and learn non-cognitively through nature’s own language: sensory connections.
Experiences and learning that, throughout the walks, can be internalized through mentoring techniques, strengthening the resilience and social capabilities of each individual and, consequently, the team’s own robustness and the way in which they face the different events in the day to day of organizations.
In conclusion, it is about having as a pedagogical method to nature and allies to collaborators, in a space where perhaps the management teams find more authentic ways of managing everyday problems.
If nature and its flows are characterized by their efficiency and effectiveness, why not apply these experiences in strategic decision scenarios?
Alex is a Certified Forest therapy Guide. Trainer and Mentor of guides by the European Forest Therapy Institute (EFTI), being one of its founder members. Alex is the founder of the Instituto de Baños de Bosque and the Instituto de Banhos de Floresta de Portugal and collaborated as a consultant specialist in the expert group on Human Health and Well-being to the Forest Europe, Ministerial Conference on the Protection of forests in Europe.
Alex is the author of “Sentir el bosque: La experiencia del Shinrin-Yoku (baño de bosque)”, Grijalbo, edited by Penguin Random House Editorial Group.