Tuesday 8 October 2013

How's the weather with you?

A BBC article entitled 'is the British weather unique in the world' had me wondering about the weather and its effect on us. Although sometimes I do think my 'wonderings' should just stay in my head rather than be shared here!

I don't mean on whether we need to put an extra jumper on or get the sunscreen out. I mean how might the weather we experience where we live impact how we're feeling, thinking and acting? I also don't just mean the actual weather - like the lack of sun meaning we don't produce enough vitamin D and therefore are grumpier than we might be. I mean how might the patterns of the weather we experience daily, monthly or yearly unconsciously impact how we act.

Let's look at what the article says about British weather patterns and explore what differences in behaviour they might illicit.

Its a blog where I'd encourage those working cross culturally to share what they've experienced. So do please comment below on what you've noticed about weather patterns and their potential impact on cultural behaviour. 

Q: Does the predictability of the weather impact the level of planning involved when developing

The overarching theme to British weather is its unpredictability. Which means we grow up used to having an umbrella, extra layer, sunscreen and snow shovel in the car - just in case. We're also used to changing plans at the last minute to embrace an unexpected sunny day or to avoid getting drenched.

How does that translate in business?

Have we in Britain become so used to unpredictability that we have become good at planning it into what we do. Or does it simply mean we're great at thinking on our feet and adapting to the changing economic, political or social environment?

What about countries where the weather is predictable does that correlate with predictability of behaviour too? Or perhaps it has the opposite effect? 

4 distinct seasons
 Q: Do the number of seasons impact the process adopted and speed to implement strategies?

Some areas in the world only have 2 seasons compared to 4 here in the Britain. These 2 seasons come and go as if like clockwork with limited external factors effecting the date for the start of one and end of the other. In Britain the movement from one season to the other is impacted by many factors. Even then spring can take 8 weeks to move from south to north! 

So I wonder are strategies easier to implement in countries with only 2 seasons. Are they either planning or acting. Can we see a correlation to implementing strategies here in Britain that follows a four part process? 

Ratio of daylight 
Q: Does the variance in daylight throughout the year impact our preferred patterns of activity?

At summer solstice in London there's 16 hours between sunrise and sunset. Compared with just short of 7 hours at winter solstice.

Do the long nights in winter and long days in summer impact the patterns of our work. Not just directly in summer and winter but every day. Are we in Britain more likely to have a preference for peaks and troughs in activity. Will we throw long hours at something and then need to take our foot of the pedal afterwards.

What about countries with less variation in daylight - is output and productivity more evenly spread throughout each day? Do they find it hard to react to a need for an increase in output?
Lack of dramatic weather
Q: Does lack of dramatic weather lead to lack of dramatic behaviour?

The article suggest the UK lacks dramatic weather such as the monsoon's in India, the hurricanes in many other parts of the world and the thunder storms I've encountered in France.

Do other cultures see the British as less dramatic or do we make up for the lack of dramatic weather through dramatic behaviour. What about the behaviour of those individuals living in countries with dramatic weather? And does it depend on what the weather is? Does the fear of hurricanes make people less grounded or the propensity of thunder and lightening make others angrier?

Not sure if the blog has answered the questions as much as posed them. It was just a thought I had when I saw the BBC article :-)

I certainly believe that we're impacted by the patterns around us, and as weather is a set of patterns just wondered if we may be unconsciously impacted by them.

What do you think? What have you noticed?

Alison Smith
Inspiring change inside and out in procurement and beyond

The Landscaping your life (LYL) process uses nature as our teacher to help provide additional insight to situations in our lives - going with the flow, getting out of ruts, seeing the woods for the trees, turning a corner and the like. To find out more do see my LYL facebook page and pinterest board

All images from Pixabay - click on photo to link to original picture sources.

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