Forget the Pecking Order

I had one of those eureka moments yesterday morning on my commute. I was listening to a TED talk podcast by Margaret Heffernan called 'Why its time to forget the pecking order at work' and it really hit home. It's just what I'm hoping guests can experience when staying here whether in a group of colleagues, friends or family.

Maragaret was using the analogy of chickens laying eggs when looking at how society seeks to be happier and more productive. A study compared the breeding of a flock of highly productive 'superchickens' and another with your standard hens. The main observation, after several generations, was that the group of standard hens were the healthiest, happiest and most productive whilst the competitive superchickens had pecked each other to death, with only a few survivors. She used this example to suggest that our society has become so obsessed with being the best at everything, we've forgotten how to behave and interact with other people. Then, she used the context of businesses to explain how this superchicken approach kills morale, productivity and happiness. Her experience showed that teams investing in their 'social capital' (getting to know each other as real people) were far better at collaborating and being productive, with everyone achieving their potential. Just imagine that - a world where everybody could reach their potential!

When I created camp, this is just the sort of social experience I imagined for guests staying here. A place for people to live as equals, disconnecting from their busy modern lives and enjoying comfort in a natural environment. There is something quite soul-enriching about life at camp if enjoyed with the right approach. Sitting around a campfire, sharing stories and staring at the starry skies is one true joy that springs to mind. And I used to get worried about the lack of power at camp, being off-grid. Then I came to realise it was a blessing in disguise. It gave our guests the opportunity to appreciate uninterrupted chats, making their own fun and exploring a real world. It also shows that problems can be solved with a little help and discussion (such as building camp fires). The results are always so much more satisfying too.

Why not start small and see how you feel? Enjoy a board game one evening instead of watching TV. Visit your folks instead of messaging them. And maybe ask your colleague if they want to go for 'Fika' (a lovely Swedish expression for a social coffee and sweet bite). You might just surprise yourself with the delight it brings.