The Seven Seeds Ecosystem Model: Cultivating resilience and sustainability for people and organisations
The Seven Seeds is a unique approach using parallels with cultivated ecosystems to help individuals, teams and organisations to grow their resilience and their sustainability for both human and environmental resources. Alan Heeks has evolved this model through many years of workshops, and can facilitate tailored sessions for a range of client groups, from a half day to two days.
About the model
It’s clear that most of the situations and resources we’re engaged with can’t be controlled, only shaped. From his experience of starting an organic farm from scratch, Alan realised that cultivated ecosystems are a powerful model for people and organisations: they show us how to steer and shape a complex natural system to achieve outcomes we need, in a co-creative approach which adjusts to the realities of the situation.
Alan’s first book, The Natural Advantage, uses organic farming as its model, and applies it for managers and work organisations. His fourth book, Natural Happiness, due for publication in March 2024, uses organic gardening as the main model, and is focussed more on individuals and community groups. For a summary of the current Seven Seeds model, click here.
Alan had a highly successful business career, starting in marketing with Procter & Gamble, followed by a Harvard MBA, and including seven years as Managing Director of two businesses. He was a founder-director of Caradon plc, which has been described as “the most successful management buy-in ever”. Since then, Alan has worked as a consultant and group facilitator with businesses and non-profits. He has used some of his Caradon capital to set up two environmental charities: a 130-acre organic farm, and a 70-acre wood. See more at www.naturalhappiness.net and www.seedingourfuture.org.uk.
These are indicative: Alan is happy to tailor content to the group and its needs. His aim is always to make sessions highly participative, so the learning is experiential. Access to outdoor space is desirable: ideally a city farm or market garden, but anywhere with trees or plants will do.
Seven Seeds: train the trainer
This workshop would guide participants through the whole model, showing how to deliver it experientially, and how to tailor it to different needs.
Duration: preferably 1 day.
Seven Seeds for managers
This would help participants to cultivate their own resilience and human sustainability, and to understand and nourish systemic resilience and wellbeing in the organisation.
Duration: preferably 1 day, but a half-day taster is possible.
Seven Seeds for coaches
Here the focus is on enabling coaches to use elements of the model with their clients, addressing both clients’ own sustainability, and the organisational issues they are facing.
Duration: 1 day preferable, half day possible.
Change management, leadership, strategy
Alan has wide experience of using the Seven Seeds as a catalyst for these and other themes, often co-facilitating with a consultant or manager familiar with the client organisation.
Duration: overall 1-2 days.
Seven Seeds for non-profits
Alan has led workshops using the Seven Seeds model for NHS professionals (doctors and administrators), community groups, and NGOs and climate adaptation projects, shaping the model to a wide range of learning outcomes.