This month, I had the amazing opportunity to attend Anthropy at the incredible Eden Project in Cornwall, and it did not disappoint! Three days spent with 1000+ values-led, committed leaders from across the UK, from the likes of Eden Project, Ideas Foundation, Better Business Act, VocL, Coutts, CGI, Ella’s Kitchen, North West Business Leadership Team and many more, who all came together to discuss, debate and share learning about the challenges we face and how we can combat them responsibly, together.
I came away with lots of food for thought, and an incredible motivation to make good work, more than ever before. Here are my five key takeaways…
You can be what you can’t see.
While the saying goes, “you can’t be what you can’t see”, it was refreshing to hear a panel of women of colour challenge that discourse and proving that in many ways, this isn’t always true.
The panel explained that it’s possible for individuals to break boundaries and change systems and expectations that have been set in a different age. It presented an entirely new perspective to this theory and inspired me to challenge old ways of working and prove that we can create our own success, regardless of whether it has been done before.
During the session ‘What does it mean to be a purposeful business leader and advocate for the future?’, I discovered my new favourite phrase: ‘collective mutiny’. This is all about rallying a group of people together to get behind a shared purpose and collaboratively create new ideas. It’s all about trying something different and taking purposeful risks – I can get on board with that!
People and productivity.
This session forced us to take a step back and face harsh realities that currently affect all businesses. We were able to collectively understand that the events of the past three years have subconsciously harboured negativity and bad behaviours, which have led to the need for more kind leadership in organisations.
It was really interesting to hear a common thread from leaders and businesses such as John O’Brien, founder of The Eden Project, that kind leadership is welcomed now more than ever.
Culture has never been more important.
The ‘Culture for Good Arts’ panel opened my eyes to just how significant culture and values are in a business. My main takeaway here was that it needs to be embedded throughout the entire business for it to work. All team members need to be bought into the ethos of a business for culture to be utilised for the better of society.
The future of female leadership is exciting!
It was really important for me to listen and learn more about the challenges and opportunities that females face in business, and what we can do to drive the equality agenda. While it was alarming to hear that 74% of men in the workplace feel threatened by women’s career prospects, it was reassuring to see both genders coming together at the conference to actively learn, so that we can do more.
Undoubtedly, there is always more work to be done to ensure a better future for us all, but we can’t help but feel inspired by the amount of kindness, community, authenticity and real advocacy that filled The Eden Project. We need to dedicate more time to listening, being kind leaders, and breaking out of our common identities to see real regenerative change. Let’s put the work in!