A few years ago, I found myself in London for the night and in need of dinner. Being the good Soilie that I am, I went in search of organic sustenance, which I found at a food counter in a dedicated organic retailer. The member of staff behind the counter paused to cautiously eyeball me as my serving of organic lasagne perched precariously on his spatula. "You're farm walk guy!"
He was right, I am Farm Walk Guy (cue dramatic music)! I took a moment to imagine who Farm Walk Guy might be. Perhaps he was something akin to Monty Python’s "Bicycle Repair Man", diving into conveniently located telephone booths to instantly re-emerge in wellies and cape.
As we chatted, it transpired that this identification was due to his attendance at one of our Organic Learning Days. He went on to explain the remarkable coincidence of seeing me again, given that he had just been thinking about the experience whilst pondering milk from the store chiller. "How long ago was that?" I inquired. "Oh, about two years ago". Our subsequent conversation proved to me that dinner that evening had been served by someone who not only understood what it meant for something to be organically grown, but perhaps more importantly, came to an understanding that had deeply affected his worldview since.
There are clearly a lot of people who come across organic in their professional lives, but how many of them truly understand what organic means and how important is it that they do? Bestselling business, work, creativity, and behavior guru Dan Pink believes three things are key to employee satisfaction, performance and retention: having a sense of mastery (of your job), a degree of autonomy, and a strong sense of purpose.
We host these Summer Learning events, because we know that a good understanding of what organic is comes from the opportunity to be inspired by experts who can both explain the principles, and show you how it works in practice. Not only does this help reinforce a sense of purpose for those who work in organic, but it also supports them in mastering their job. After all, organic systems offer many benefits and if you don’t have a good view of the range on offer, how do you know which would be the most relevant to your product when you speak to consumers?
Having organised these sessions for ten years now, my enthusiasm for these all-day immersion sessions has never faltered. It’s not just the immense enjoyment of working with highly engaged groups and hearing from experts and guests with insights of their own that motivates me, but also my ongoing belief in their wider importance.