Itâ€™s August, which means weâ€™re well into the summer holiday season. And many of us will be taking a well-earned break from the day-to-day roller coaster that is business life.
Even as you read this, you might be making a beeline for a poolside resort, enjoying a quaint little bistro in some cobblestoned European city, or exploring a theme park with the kids.
Whatever your holiday preference, you probably have something in common with yours truly; whenever Iâ€™m relaxing in the sunshine – with a cold beer in hand – Iâ€™m far more likely to visualise what I want to do with my business, and how I want to go about achieving it.
And this is simply because I donâ€™t have that immediate pressure of the workplace on my shoulders – just suncream.
The Best Ideas Happen In Our Down Time
Some of my best ideas have come from what I would describe as idle moments of contemplation; when my mind is free to wander, and that jumble of deadlines and decisions has been left in the office.
But wouldnâ€™t it be great if you could recreate such a scenario and generate those ideas on a more regular basis, providing a greater impetus to your business?
Iâ€™m sure you would agree that this would be incredibly beneficial, however, it can be difficult to manufacture. You could spend a few hours out of the office each week, sitting down with one or two senior team members to discuss various aspects of the business. Yet, inevitably, distractions will get in the way, deadlines will become more pressing, or discussion will turn to last nightâ€™s match or televised talent show. So, what should you do?
The Solution: An External Facilitator
What Iâ€™ve found with clients is that regular meetings – be it monthly, or quarterly – with an external facilitator can reap huge rewards.
In this type of meeting scenario, past performance can be reviewed, and focus can be placed on future development. Thereâ€™s also an opportunity to brainstorm with a positive and energetic outlook, resulting in ideas being bounced around in a relaxed and enjoyable setting.
When you work with an external facilitator, you can be certain that there will be a degree of structure around the meeting. Itâ€™s their responsibility to minimise interruptions and to ensure everything flows. If you have specific objectives for the meeting, the facilitator can help you achieve them without running the risk of being sidetracked.
Time Away Can Be Time Well Spent
The business people who tell me that they canâ€™t afford time out from their business tend to be the ones who are struggling to be successful. They feel obliged to work from dawn til dusk, never taking the time to step back and assess all of their options.
In my opinion, the types of meetings discussed above – and even just sitting by the pool letting your mind wander – can be priceless. I often attend conferences, lectures, or exhibitions, and while I may spend an afternoon out of the office, if I return with just one good idea it can be worth more than half a day of my time.
This was vividly brought home to me recently when a client and I were discussing ways in which business could be increased. We looked at a major trade event the client was due to attend, and I told a story I had heard regarding a technique for attracting people to an exhibition stand.
Lo and behold, when we met up a few months later, they told me that they had put that technique into action and their sales at that particular event had increased by 40%!
While there were undoubtedly multiple factors at play for that increase, part of it came from the time spent away from the office and discussing business with me. And the client was understandably delighted.
So, all thatâ€™s left to say is, if youâ€™d like to experience the power of these types of facilitated and focused sessions, why not give me a call?
Get in touch today, book a time for a chat, and then get right back to enjoying your holiday!