Rayonier employees came up with their own version of TED Talks to learn from each other across disciplines. Thanks to video conferencing, Rayonier’s Peer Group includes presenters and attendees sharing ideas from Florida, across the U.S., and in New Zealand.
WILDLIGHT, Florida–With coworkers from diverse backgrounds like genetic research, various forestry disciplines, finance, IT, and business, Nate Osborne knew Rayonier employees could gain a lot by learning from each other.
“I looked around and thought, ‘Look at all these people who are right here, subject matter experts, some of the best at what they do on the continent,’” says Nate, a Biometrics Project Leader who studied forestry throughout the U.S., France and Finland before joining Rayonier.
Harkening back to the inspirational discussions he had taken part in during college, Nate seized the opportunity to collaborate with a grassroots approach: he set up his own version of a “TED Talk” and presented on his greatest passion, forest biometrics, to a group of about a dozen coworkers. When he was finished speaking, they bounced ideas around, and the result was inspiring.
“Put people in a room together. That’s all you have to do,” Nate says. “Think about how just an hour or two of your time could really change things.”
The Rayonier Peer Group has continued to grow in attendance since then, with several dozen Rayonier employees participating in the monthly meet-ups. Each month has a different featured speaker who talks for about 40 minutes, inspiring the group to then discuss the topic. Thanks to video conferencing, presenters and attendees can participate wherever they are within Rayonier’s ownership, from Florida to New Zealand.
Action Plan Not Required
Nate, shown in the photo above, stresses these meetings are meant to inspire people to see new perspectives and learn from each other, not to formulate a plan of action.
“We keep away from the typical PowerPoint presentation. The goal is to share an experience or idea you’re passionate about. We leave tons of time for questions and encourage a really open dialogue the whole time.”
One of his favorite presentations was by Rayonier’s Vice President of Forest Productivity and Sustainability Tom Fox about the future of forestry. Other speakers highlighted the many hats a Resource Unit Leader wears, Rayonier’s approach to genetics, why sustainability matters to timber REIT investors, and many others.
One of our key values at Rayonier is to collaborate across disciplines as a team that truly is One Rayonier. We’re grateful for employees like Nate, who seek out ways to strengthen the bonds across the Rayonier team.