When you had your last BIG IDEA, where were you and what were you doing? Based on the answers I’ve heard, many of you meet the muse while running/biking/working out, showering or vacationing. I’d be willing to wager that there aren’t many who’d cite sitting at their desk or post-lunch meetings as incubators of Ah Ha! moments. So, when it comes time for a team retreat, why head to the same old catered conference environments? Here are four reasons to take the team outside the box:
REFRESH: Retreating from the office to a meeting room is like going to the neighbors’ house for vacation. The best retreats (river trips for example) remove us from our daily grind and replace it with fresh opportunities for imagination and collaboration.
DIGITAL DETOX: Even though facilitators implore us to turn off, put down and silence our devices, we usually have some pressing reason why we can’t abide. Going beyond the bars of reception (it can be done!) makes this easy; distractions disappear and our attention reappears.
THINK DIFFERENTLY: Albert Einstein said, “We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them.” Science and experience have made it clear that the mind finds creative inspiration, explores new thought paths and relaxes when outside.
GET UP, STAND UP: Exercising, especially outdoors, has been proven to lower stress levels and increase wellbeing (sitting indoors for extended periods has not). Physical activity is good for the mind too; test subjects who moved around while problem solving worked more quickly and creatively than their sedentary counterparts.
For a retreat to make a difference, teams have to clear space, find focus and explore how to apply what they’ve learned. Invest in a retreat with lasting impact by taking your team outside and away from it all.