Where do you do your best strategic thinking?

 

Many people answer with the following:
– In the shower (I do my best work there)
– While I’m hiking
– While I’m paddle boarding
– When I’m cooking
– On the ski lift

Yet, think about it, we bring our teams together in a sterile boardroom and expect them to be creative. What happens in your typical boardroom? I know what happens in the boardrooms I’ve found myself in:
– Intimidation
– Self-judgement
– Hesitancy
– Fidgeting
– Day dreaming

How might we capture the energy of our naturally creative spaces and engage our teams in their BEST strategic thinking? How might we capture those creative thoughts and bring them into reality? You know the drill, you jump out of the shower, you get done with your hike – and poof, all those brilliant thoughts evaporate into thin air.

Granted taking my team into the shower with me was off the table, I took them out on the lake for a paddle boarding strategy session. We paddled around a while allowing conversation and connection to occur organically. Then we huddled our boards together, the breeze gently moving us around the lake, the mountains off in the distance, and the creative juices flowing. 2 hours passed by like a fish jumping from the water. One of my team members declared, “I didn’t daze out once”. Our strategy was clear and our next steps were in place. Now that is strategic planning!

One leader I consulted with decided to do ‘Gondola Gab’ where she would invite her team members to take a gondola ride with her and engage them in Stay Interviews to explore their engagement and aspirations. From those conversations new inspiration and strategies always emerged.

Next time you go for that hike, grab your phone and open an email addressed to yourself. Capture those strategic thoughts.

When you’re in the shower designing that next product, record your thoughts as soon as you get out….before they vanish.

Take a walk with your CEO. If you are the CEO, take a walk with your team members. We all have great ideas that are just waiting to be let out!

Ask your team members where they do their best strategic thinking and see how you might capitalize on that!

Come on back and share your stories here!