Team Regeneration, Lluc Mallorca
The Volans team travelled to the hills of Mallorca for a few days to explore how we could embody regeneration more fully as individuals and as a collective. We were joined by our friend Daniel Wahl – a leading thinker and practitioner of regeneration based on the island.
As we reintegrate into society following two years of a global pandemic the acknowledgement of uncertainty, and all that entails, has been at the heart of Volans’ thinking. We used our tools to journey inward, aiming to gain greater insight as to the foundations required to build a dynamic, resilient business of the future. Three pillars stood out amongst our many learnings as underpinning our journey:
From our initial check-in onwards, we were encouraged to remember the distinction between passive, active and deep listening. The message was to engage wholly in whoever had taken the floor, empathising with both the content and the person. With this distinction fresh in the mind, our workshops took on a new feeling of collective exploration with us working in pairs or groups to delve deeper.
With the emphasis on deep listening underpinning our stay in Santuari, we were able to see and feel beyond the mere content of conversation, allowing our hidden assumptions, values and fears to emerge. Without creating the space for these subconscious narratives to emerge, we run the risk of carrying the root cause of today’s problems into tomorrow’s solutions. Collectively entering the realm of deep listening created the conditions necessary to begin to explore the importance, and practice, of building a deep sense of trust across the team.
Throughout our conversations, the importance of trust at both the personal and team level took centre stage. If we were to become more accepting of uncertainty, we would need to develop trust both in ourselves and in the space that we collectively hold.
We looked to build this deeper sense of trust over the course of our stay using playful tools that encouraged us to share personal experiences and stories. By putting our true selves into the circle, we were demonstrating the degree of trust we had in each member of the team and Volans as a whole.
The value of deep trust became evident as we felt increasing freedom to openly discuss the future we envision for Volans and potential steps forward. It was a powerful reminder that our focus on trust-building with clients is critical in the pursuit to build internal capacity for transformation within client organisations. The collective ownership developed through this process was highlighted in our closing workshop with team members enthusiastically divvying up responsibilities for the implementation of new ideas and ways of working that had been identified.
Place-based as an enabling constraint
Santuari provided an experiential confirmation of a critical regenerative principle: being placed-based. We were privileged to be staying in the spiritual home of the Island with Daniel Wahl as both guest and tour-guide. Our workshops allowed us to explore place-based as an enabling constraint through the art of storytelling, one of mankind’s defining traits. We explored the reinforcing dynamics at play; deepening our understanding of place prompted deeper lessons to emerge. The value held in the nuance of place and context is often overlooked, it was through acknowledging and working with this constraint that we were able to shift into deeper narratives around our work, our values and our future.
With Daniel by our side, this key regenerative principle was always going to take on legs; we were guided through the hills of Santuari de Lluc to the ancient burial grounds of Mallorcan chieftains hidden 25m below ground. Only accessible by an increasingly-narrowing cave that opened out into a tomb of true darkness, we were honoured to experience Santuari de Lluc export us deeper into new realms of knowledge and feeling.
By Stirling, Student Associate at Volans