• Kat Hounsell

How to unlock human potential - Roots and Shoots


The answer to unlocking human potential is found in the connection of roots and shoots.

I'm sure we've all experienced it. That moment when you open an article forwarded to you from a friend or colleague. The title grabs your attention. You think "this is my bag". So you keep reading. The first paragraph speaks right to your heart, another human being has managed to condense your endless wanderings of the mind into 3 succinct sentences. You read on. And as you scroll through the pages you find yourself internally screaming a "yes...Yes....YES!"


Last week this happened to me when I was sent Deloitte University Press article Unlocking human potential - proactive practices for individual elasticity. I have to confess that on first glance I nearly clicked away; it's a pretty long read and definitely one that will take more than 7 minutes of my undivided attention. Luckily, I spotted an interactive graphic and a handful of case studies that convinced me I would be kept entertained.


Moments later I found myself bouncing out of my chair and air punching. I LOVE the Roots and Shoots framework that underpins the article. An easy to grasp and common sense approach to gaining the benefits we're craving:


  • Gain focus

  • Improve well-being

  • Be more productive

  • Be more adaptable

  • Learn across changing contexts

  • Increase empathy

  • Unleash creativity

  • Sustain all the above over your career and lifetime


In essence, Roots are all about slowing down in order to understand ourselves more, get grounded and prepared for speeding up. And that's where Shoots come in, these are ways to get moving, learning and reveal a greater purpose. For sustainability Roots and Shoots must coexist. They are complementary not contradictory practices.


To unlock human potential in an unpredictable environment, practices that help us both slow down and speed up can help shift the paradigm from stress and survival to excitement and vitality.

I believe in the interplay between well-being and performance. By supporting individuals to holistically be at the top of their game, not only will they reap the benefits in their career and life, so will your team and your organisation. With deliberate practice your extraordinary visions will be transformed into happy realities.


At everyday people a key part of our approach is embedding everyday actions. We understand that what can read as common sense stuff is sometimes be much trickier to implement. If you're already thinking about how this might work with your people then get in touch. We'd love to help.


This blog is a snapshot of the Deloitte article and the Roots and Shoots framework; as tempting as it is to summarise all the key elements, I really do believe that it is worth the long read. Enjoy.

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