The clients who work with me will know that every month I study an audio book through Audible.com and this month my pick was John Maxwell’s 15 Invaluable Laws of Growth. If you are a leader and have not heard of John Maxwell I highly recommend checking him out, his work on leadership is fantastic.

On of the 15 growth laws is “The Law of Environment: Growth thrives in conducive surroundings.” And as I was listening to the message I reflected on some of the Government environments I am currently working in. Typically the government sector does invest in their people, for those who are proactive there are usually learning and development opportunities that you can seek out, or that the organisation offers, however the problem is what happens once the learning is done.

How good is Government at creating the right environment for growth? Each of us is the average of the five people we spend the most time with. This is in effect, how cultures are formed and when a culture is commonly challenged by change it becomes critical to create a growth environment.

The chapter on The Law of Environment offers up 6 simple steps we can take:

1. Assess you current environment – does it promote or fuel growth?
2. Change yourself & your environment – take responsibility, make it the way you want it to be!
3. Change who you spend your time with – go where others grow…
4. Challenge yourself in your new environment – play outside your comfort zone
5. Focus on the moment – get over the past & remove fear from the future by living in the now
6. Move forward despite criticism – growth can only come when you are taking action; you need to swim against the tide to catch a wave!

These are just a few ideas from only one of 15 laws. If you want more I highly recommend you grab the book, but for now – just absorb the one simple law I’ve outlined in this blog. If we could truly apply this law I believe we could increase productivity, reduce costs and grow through change. Creating a growth environment is not about creating a “safe space” for people to learn comfortably, it is about challenging people to play outside the comfort zone more frequently, to be more resilient and to become self led learners who want to grow with the organisation.