I can’t believe it’s nearly eighteen months since I joined Relume.

The learning experience has been steep. To work at Relume means to constantly question, experiment and question again. We don’t take answers at face value. We do it with our clients as well as ourselves! 

If there is one key thing I’ve learnt, it’s that resilience is essential for anyone that wants to create change in business  – it enables us to bounce back quickly from set backs and challenges.

Movement is a cornerstone of any resilience practice. So I’ve started to use exercise in my work as a coach and team facilitator. This means I work with my clients when cycling, running or walking. Next month I’m doing a two day workshop with an executive team while walking in the Highlands. 

I’ve found that movement can be used as a tool for transformational change in business, both individually and collectively as an organisation. When people move in the right way it brings more energy, creativity, vitality and awareness. These are qualities that we need in an increasingly complex an 24/7 world. 

I believe there is an untested assumption in our organisations that we have our best ideas when sitting down. So what would happen if we integrated more movement into our working day? I’ve been exploring this idea with my friend Richard Abbott a business coach with a shared interest in movement. 

Based on these experiments and working with my clients, I’ve created a few key tips for changing the way we think in business. It can be used as a tool for creating more creativity and innovation in our work.  

The list isn't comprehensive but I hope something in it will inspire you to move more.  

1. Anxiety inhibits inspiration. 

Anxiety can inhibit new ideas from emerging. For example, cycling with someone faster or riding in heavy traffic can create stress. This means the location and who we choose to get out and move our bodies with is important. 

2. Find your flow

Research suggests new ideas emerge when we do something enjoyable and repetitive that doesn’t require too much of our conscious brain. Finding our flow is individual and we have to work it out for ourselves.  It might mean exercising at a relaxed conversational pace and for others it can be achieved when we’re physically pushing ourselves.

3. Keep good company

Talking with someone else makes a big difference, either during the session or straight afterwards. It needs to be someone that can ask good questions and listen to what is being said. 

4. The power of intention

Before you start moving it helps to identify a question or topic to think about. Then forget about it and enjoy whatever you are doing. When we let go our subconscious can make new connections that lead to a new idea or insight. The key thing is to take notice of that subtle connection because it can be fleeting. 

5. Movement is the lubricant

Movement can help us to solve problems and think of new approaches in a way that feels obvious and easy. The same conversation or dilemma can feel more challenging in a more traditional environment like an office.  

6. Moving with internal awareness

Listening to our bodies allows us to understand what’s happening inside ourselves and make meaning from this information. This is very different from exercise to get away from uncomfortable feelings and emotions. We undervalue the use of gut instinct in business, but it can improve the quality and speed of our decisions when used with our cognitive processing.   

7. Moving with external awareness

Taking notice of what is around us is a huge source of inspiration. We can take meaning from what we see and use it to help solve the question or topic that we are holding.

8. Find your passion

I’ve used cycling in most of my examples because it’s my passion, but the concept applies to all types of movement. So find the way you love to move and practice it as often as you can. This increases the likelihood that all the above insights will work for you. 

9. Movement as cornerstone to resilience

Resilience is essential in business.  To be resilient means thriving in the increased complexity and ambiguity of our organisations. This is commonly mistaken with endurance which means asking people to do more with fewer resources and less time. A regular practice of movement is a cornerstone for resilience.

Underpinning all of this I believe we are made to move. I’d love to hear your thoughts. 

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Comment by julie anne sammons on August 19, 2015 at 9:03

Great article - how wonderful to be able to coach while walking in the Highlands - make sure you take midge protection! Look forward to hearing how it goes.

Hope to catch up soon!

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