Something we’ve done at Bower since the very beginning of the business is run a team session every Monday morning called Thought for the Week.
One member of the team (on a rota) is selected the week before to prepare their talk, usually around 5-10 mins with discussion, which they share with the wider team the following Monday.
This is a key component of how we run a purpose-led business, allowing space for thoughtfulness, reflection and inspiration to get our week off to the best possible start. Recently, someone suggested to me that we share these more widely, so here are our top 5 insights that you hopefully find as inspiring as we did!
Becoming a regenerative business 🌱
This was shared recently by Nicky, our Retail and Operations Lead, who also leads on a number of our sustainability initiatives.
In a world where sustainability often falls short, it’s time to pivot toward a more holistic approach. Regenerative business means promoting the restoration and regeneration of natural resources and social systems.
The regenerative framework invites us to step beyond sustainability by learning from nature. The focus should not be damage mitigation, but restoring, renewing and healing systems we depend on, while also improving the inherent ability of said systems to restore, renew and heal themselves more effectively.
How is this relevant for Bower? The circular economy is a regenerative economic system that includes reducing, alternatively reusing, recycling, and recovering materials. So we are on our journey already but there is much more to be done.
It’s not just about what we do but how we do it, creating a space for the regeneration of people as well as the planet.
You can read more here on Medium.
Innovation is a practice that requires regular training 🌟
This was the subject of a recent talk by my co-founder Marcus, based on the book Ideaflow by the writer Jeremy Utley. Innovation is central to everything we do at Bower, across our product, packaging and technology.
Innovation and creativity is a practice - you need to train regularly to get better. It is an effective solution to a problem, a low probability result that requires constant experimentation.
There is a human tendency to focus on the most plausible pathway but very often the first idea is the worst idea, you have to be prepared to experiment and flex. Often the pain of stuff not working or problem solving not working leads to a better approach to problem solving. The problem of solving problems!
Finally, there is a misconception that ideas are more important than people. If you could give a mediocre idea to a good team, you’ll do better than giving a good idea to a mediocre team. At Bower we believe in this principle and are actively building a supportive culture of innovation to achieve our mission in eliminating plastic waste.
Building resilience 📈
Nick, one of our co-founders, shared this earlier in 2023 after he'd had a challenging start to the year. Particularly in the fast-paced and volatile world of startups, being resilient and looking after your mental health is absolutely vital.
Tips to improve resilience:
Start the day in the right way: whatever works for you, for me I do 10 minutes meditation as soon as I wake up, then exercise and a cold shower. The combination of mindful meditation and exercise really helps build a positive and calm mindset to be ready for the day ahead.
Build on your relationships. Building strong, positive relationships with your family, colleagues and friends can provide you with needed support, guidance and acceptance in good and bad times.
Learn from experience. Think of how you’ve coped with challenges in the past. Challenging situations are often temporary but can feel all consuming at the time. It’s important to visualise coming out the other side and being in calm water again.
Remain hopeful. Believing that you will get to where you need to be, through positive affirmation, is a very powerful tool. Optimism is not a form of naivety, it is a great headspace to be in as often as you possibly can be.
Be proactive. Don’t ignore the problems. Instead, figure out what needs to be done, make a plan and take action. Although it can take time to recover from a major setback, traumatic event or loss, know that your situation can improve if you work hard at it.
Three key lessons from the Quakers 📖
Phil, our New Product Development Lead, shared these insights around how we can build a business on the core Quaker principles.
- Honesty and integrity, Simplicity, Equality and Peace. These had value at the time of the Quaker movement and still resonate strongly today.
- The Quaker faith has environmentalism built in from its inception. George Fox said in 1656 ". We do not own the world, and its riches are not ours to dispose of at will. Show a loving consideration for all creatures, and seek to maintain the beauty and variety of the world. Work to ensure that our increasing power over nature is used responsibly, with reverence for life.”
How can we use silence to improve our meetings? Silence itself has no magic. It may be just sheer emptiness or absence of sound. However, the effective use of silence in business meetings can create a powerful atmosphere for the receipt of inspiration and guidance. Quaker meetings for business always begin and end with a period of silence.
Finding confidence 💪
This fifth entry comes from Emily, Bower employee no.1, who shared her thoughts on her own journey to building her confidence and becoming an integral part of a high growth startup.
- Confidence isn't the 'I can do anything attitude'
- Confidence is to keep going when it's a struggle. It's the quiet perseverance, the honesty to say this is hard but let's go.
- Do your best, rather than try to be the best. Wherever you're at, you can do that.
- Life isn't a talent competition. Do your best, know what you love, be kind to people along the way, know the weapons that serve you best. That's confidence.
Thank you for reading!